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3.4  ·  Rating Details ·  122 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
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 sad
Mass Market Paperback, 154 pages
Published March 12th 1982 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 1980)
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Community Reviews

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Uyen Cao
Fortress is a fast-paced novel and one of the few books out there without romance involved at all. I was a bit unsure if I'd enjoy this story of a rural Sydney school teacher, Sally, who is kidnapped, along with her class of children, but I quickly warmed to it.

The reading was enjoyable and I didn't ever feel like I wanted to skim. There were some slower sections and older-styled writing, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it all the same. The gory details in some parts were refreshing and didn't ta
Mar 22, 2016 Reevej rated it it was amazing
Transformation of Innocent Victims to Strong Defenders

“When Sally Jones woke up on the eighth of May she knew at once that something unpleasant lay ahead of her.” The spine-chilling novel, Fortress composed by Gabrielle Lord portrays suspense as it becomes extremely intense and reasonably scary. This conceives Fortress to contain a range of ingredients in a captivating thriller. Similarly, who could resist the suspenseful plot, believable characters and the probing moral questions it asks? Fortr
I mean no offence to this book when I say I hated it. Ok, so really I do. It just really wasn't my cup of tea.

Fortress is a Suspense/Thriller novel that is based (loosely) around the events that occured during the Faraday kidnapping that occured in Australia.

This book just didn't do anything for me. Not only were there large parts that were totally pointless description (for example, "The Eagle turned and soared downward"... at a random place in the story when they were talking about a dead bo
Jul 25, 2015 Catsalive rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aww-previous, 2015, pre-bc
When Sally Jones woke up on the eighth of May she knew at once that something unpleasant lay ahead of her. Then she remembered. The Inspector was making an unexpected visit to her one-teacher school in Sunny Flat the next day and Sally wasn't ready. Her programme was unfinished and the classroom was a mess. And to add to all that, Sally feared that she may be pregnant. For the hundredth time she asked herself what she was doing in this dump three hundred miles from Sydney.

At school the morning b
Mar 07, 2013 Michelle rated it really liked it
Shelves: zz2013-read
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 a
Benjamin Stahl
Feb 24, 2016 Benjamin Stahl rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Young Teachers
I remember reading this in early high school. It was one of the few books I actually enjoyed back then. Very intense and reasonably scary. The violent ending, I remember, stuck with many of us kids for a while. I'm only giving it three starts now because I can't exactly remember that much. But I plan on keeping an eye out for it, and then I can read it again and give it a better review.
Avery Weston
Oct 31, 2014 Avery Weston rated it liked it
This book is not what I expected, it wasn't as interesting as I thought. Everything went really slow and there weren't any interesting parts in it. I mean, there was, but they way they made it sound, made it sound boring.
Aug 19, 2012 Vorbis rated it liked it
Apparently inspired by the Faraday kidnappings, at a rural school with only one teacher, the 20yr old female teacher and her children are kidnapped by men in masks and held for ransom.

Which is where the historical precedent becomes clear, because the teacher tries to calm down the kids by explaining they'll most likely be held for ransom when the kidnappers haven't expressed any such thing - maybe it's a sign of the times, but I sure didn't assume that you'd kidnap a bunch of schoolkids for rans
Apr 25, 2013 Jena rated it it was amazing
Shelves: australia, 5-stars
I was eleven when I saw the movie "Fortress." Since I've always been intrigued by Australia in general and hope to visit someday, I developed a liking for the movie. I was thirteen when I learned there was a book before there was a movie, so the five-star rating I give this novel may be based more on a nostalgia for the reading of my youth, and less on its actual merit. I didn't even realize it was based on real events. It is a story filled with suspense, and I loved the "never give up" attitude ...more
Diane Wachter
RDC-M V 5 1981, 7/82. Okay.
Randall Longmire
Oct 13, 2010 Randall Longmire rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 04, 2011 Christian rated it it was amazing
Awesome retelling of the Faraday School kidnapping, a true event, in which the teacher and students of a small country school in rural Australia are kidnapped and held for ransom. One of the most unique plot lines put to paper, it stays with you long after the story is over.
Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
I think this was a little advanced for primary school kids, and thought my teacher unprofessional for making us read it (and I seem to remember watching a movie too maybe? It may be my imagination though) and it's just... bad. Things happen for seemingly no reason.
Pauline Toohey
Sep 08, 2012 Pauline Toohey rated it did not like it
Oh dear!

Perhaps a storyline with lots of potential, but utterly failed. Grammar, character development, chronology of actions and believable emotions - eek.

Very disappointed.
Mar 23, 2009 Jennifer rated it liked it
The book is a frightening thriller that has a Lord of the Flies like quality to it. Be very afraid of children. Don't underestimate anyone.
Aug 26, 2011 Nancy added it
One part is similar to the human qualities seen in Lord of the flies
Mar 26, 2014 John rated it it was ok
Shelves: own
a stupid book for kids perhaps.
Annette Manti
Feb 03, 2013 Annette Manti rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome book
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Gabrielle Lord survived being ‘razed’ by the nuns, acquired an education despite this, and after working in many different areas, sales, teaching, brick-cleaning, peach-picking and packing, and in the Public Service as an employment officer, started writing seriously aged 30.
Her first two manuscripts ended up composting the tomatoes at her market garden – another attempt to make a living – but the
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