One of the most important fictional stories I have ever read

Steena Holmes does it again, flawlessly telling a very difficult story with ease, heart and dignity to all characters involved. This had to be a difficult story to decide to tell, as it is a heart-wrenching story of a school shooting that took place at the local Elementary School in Stillwater Bay, Washington, USA.
The shooter was a 16 year old boy named Gabriel Berry. When we hear of these stories in the headlines, we often forget that the Mother of the shooter is mourning the loss of her child and the tragedy their child caused. Steena taught me that Gabriel’s Mother, Julie deserves as much support as the parents and families of the other victims. Ostracizing is not an option! What a wake-up call that was!! Impressive storytelling to say the least.
We are introduced to a flurry of families within this close knit community, with the main characters all being the closest of friends. We are introduced to a group of women that gather each month to get a break to just “be”. There is Charlotte, Jenn, Ann-Marie, Lacie, and even Julia; Gabriel’s mother. I fell in love with everyone’s family, history, and each woman tugged at a different part of my heart strings.
One of the most touching sentences was “a senseless act as the world looked on”. When these types of events happen, families cannot mourn in private. Steena Holmes gave me an entirely new outlook. I am grateful for having read this story.
You will walk away feeling different about these events. You will put the book down with a tear rolling down your check, googling to see when the sequel comes out.
My heart broke, and I anxiously wait to learn how this community heals.
This was one of the most important fictional stories I have ever read, to say the least.

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