Wow, this book starts off with a hard question and doesn’t really get any easier.
As a mother your first instinct is to protect your child from harm. What do you do if you are faced with the decision to save your child, or someone elses? What if the seconds it takes to help another child could mean your childs death? Are you responsible if someone else’s child is harmed while you are saving your own? How do you make these choices?
This is what Rose McKenna faces the first day she volunteers as a lunch mom at her daughters school. Rose’s daughter Melly has a birthmark on her face that often makes her the target of bullying and teasing. In an effort to defuse the situation Rose volunteers at the school hoping she can find a way to help the kids get along.
While Rose watches the other children tease Melly and she runs out of the cafeteria. Before Rose can go after her there is an explosion and the cafeteria is engulfed in flames. The three girls who were teasing Melly are the last in the lunch room because Rose was trying to talk to them about bullying.
Immediately Rose thinks of Melly and starts to run for her, then she realizes these little girls are still there and she is the only adult. In a split second every scenario runs through Roses’ mind, she can’t leave the girls, but she also can’t leave Melly.
Rose manages to corral the girls in the direction of the door and heads off after Melly. She finds her unconscious and gets her safely outside.
Then Rose learns that one of the little girls didn’t come outside with the others. Rose goes from being hero mom for saving Melly to someone everyone hates because she didn’t get the other girl out before she got hurt.
As the other girl, Amanda, lays in a coma there is talk of suing the school, suing Rose. Things don’t feel right about the fire and what Rose uncovers is more than a parent choosing one child over another. One man plays God to get what he wants, and doesn’t care who he hurts in the process.
I loved this book. It is well written and the story is riveting. As a mother it is easy to put yourself in Rose’s shoes, although you hope you never have to.