My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Mass Market Paperback, 154 pages
Published March 12th 1982 by Ballantine BooksSource: Own Copy
(first published 1981)
Challenges: Aussie Author Challenge, Mt TBR Challenge, A-Z Title Challenge
'At school, the morning bell rang well enough. The children were cooperative and eager to help in preparation for the inspector.
Without warning, their peace was shattered by the appearance at the window of a grotesquely masked figure. It was the start of a forty-eight hour ordeal of terror for Sally Jones and her small band of pupils, kidnapped by a gang of sinister and sadistic men asking a cool million dollars ransom for their victims.
Sally's first concern was to protect and comfort the children but as their nightmare continued she became determined to escape and then, together with the children, to destroy...'
This book is a very fast read that I just hated to put down once I started it.
It centres around a young female teacher, Sally Jones, who is almost at the end of her rural posting in a remote town in NSW, Australia and her small batch of students and the frightening event of their kidnapping by some young men wanting to hold them for ransom.
What I loved about this story was that a seemingly weak group made up of a young woman and some children never have a moment where they give up hope or just await their fate in the hands of the kidnappers. They manage to overcome their fears and use all of their combined resources to do a complete about turn from innocent, unarmed victims, to savage and strong defenders of their lives.
I've seen a few other reviews that compare this book a little to Lord of the Flies and I think that is definitely a great comparison to make. This is one of those stories that makes you realise how we have the ability to become a product of our environment and that you have the choice of either accepting your fate without attempting to change it, or you can fight with everything you are made of and try to come out the victor.
Amazon - Fortress