One Breath Away Questions

  • One Breath Away is set in a sudden snow storm.  What role does the weather play in the story, both literally and metaphorically?
  • Stuart asks “What kind of town is this? Doesn’t anyone know who their father is?” What role do fathers play in One Breath Away?  Discuss the different relationships between fathers and children.
  • Discuss the influence of the small town setting on the characters.
  • One Breath Away is told from multiple point of views. W hat do we learn about the characters from the perspective of their families? What do we learn about Holly from her father?  About Augie from her grandfather?  About Mrs. Oliver from Cal?
  • The gunman in the story poses a physical threat to the children in Broken Branch and several characters are determined to protect the children—Mrs. Oliver, Meg, Augie.  In what other ways do characters try to protect each other? How do they succeed? How do they fail?
  • On the day the gunman arrives in the school, Will is awaiting the birth of the calves.   How are the seasons and the cyclical nature of life evoked in this novel?