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The Things That Keep Us Here

The Things That Keep Us Here

How far would you go to protect your family?

"The Things That Keep Us Here balances all-too-real terrors with genuine emotion. I read it in one sitting."
   —Jacquelyn Mitchard, New York Times bestselling author

"Here is an apocalyptic novel as topical as today's headlines, yet as intimate as a lover's touch. A brilliant debut that deserves to be read by everyone."
   —New York Times bestselling author James Rollins

Everything seems quiet on Ann Brooks's suburban cul-de-sac. Despite her impending divorce, she's created a happy home and her daughters are adjusting to the change. She feels lucky to be in a supportive community and confident that she can handle any other hardship that life may throw her way. But then, right before Thanksgiving, a crisis strikes that turns everybody's world upside down. Suddenly her estranged husband is forced back onto her doorstep, bringing with him his beautiful graduate assistant. Trapped inside the house she once called home, confronted by challenges she never could have imagined, Ann must make life-or-death decisions in an environment where the simple act of opening a door to a neighbor could jeopardize all she holds dear.

The choices she makes will impact the lives of those around her irrevocably and linger in the reader's memory in this marvelous first novel, written with authority, grace, and wisdom.


Read an excerpt

Video interview with WOSU (on the science behind the novel)

Writers Talk video (new voices in the Ohio literary landscape)

WTVG clip

IndieBound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Random House

Audio Book


Finalist, 2010 ITW Thriller Award for Best First Novel
Finalist, 2011 Ohioana Book Award

"A knockout debut of the decade."
   —LA Times

"With crisp writing and taut pacing, Buckley spins a convincing apocalyptic vision that's both frightening and claustrophobic."
   —Library Journal

"The Things That Keep Us Here is without a doubt one of the most powerful and realistically frightening books I have ever read... Readers will find themselves inevitably swept into the lives of this family; sharing their fears, heartbreak and success while watching helplessly as the systems meant to better everyone's lives breakdown. With staggering intensity, Buckley's writing will leave you speechless. "
   —Suspense Magazine

"[A] chilling, engrossing debut novel."
   —Dallas Morning News (read the full review)

"Few books are powerful enough to keep me awake at night, as this one was. I just kept thinking: This could happen."
   —The Minneapolis/St. Paul StarTribune (read the full review)

"A real page-turner."
   —New York Examiner (read the full review)

"A confident and timely first outing with just the right blend of horror and realism."
   — (read the full review)

"An amazing achievement. What makes it work is that Buckley explores a global catastrophe with such a narrow focus, and with complex characters that we come to care deeply about."
   —Linwood Barclay, international bestselling author

"A riveting and utterly believable story."
   —The Sudbury Star (read the full review)

"This is one of the scariest books I've read recently, and there's not a single zombie, vampire, genetically modified creature or mass murderer in sight."
   —The Straits Times (read the full review)

"Utterly engrossing. The Things That Keep Us Here is the book guaranteed to keep you up all night, as you follow one family's pulse-pounding journey through the worst that can happen and beyond."
   —Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author

"My mouth went dry again and again while reading this fully realized story of the fallout from a viral pandemic. It was terrifying and utterly riveting, with characters I have continued to think about long after the turning the final pages."
   —Michael Palmer, New York Times bestselling author

Delacorte, hardcover, February 2010, ISBN: 978-0440245094
Bantam, trade paperback, January 2011, ISBN: 978-0440246046