Newest Review: ... work together to try and save a man's life and three women are thrown together which forms a lasting bond. Timescales Only a week in time... more
It only takes a moment!
One Moment One Morning - Sarah Rayner
Member Name: MelissaRuth
One Moment One Morning - Sarah Rayner
Date: 16/08/12, updated on 09/02/13 (62 review reads)
Advantages: Fast paced. Absorbing. Excellent study of characters. Good story line.
Disadvantages: None al all
One moment, One Morning should by rights be a sad, depressing book. It's about the sudden death of a loved one. It's about alcohol abuse and it's about homelessness, hiding one's true identity from family and most especially grief. However, I actually found it an uplifting read. It is riveting and a book that I really didn't want to put down. I think this is partly because it is so realistic and true to life.
Everything is totally believable and dealt with in a sensitive manner and as well as exploring a number of situations that are extremely difficult for the three ladies , Sarah Rayner also manages to convey such passion, compassion and empathy between her characters. Karen, Anna and Lou were all real people to me as I was reading and although there aren't descriptions of their physical appearance, I had very definite images in my mind that I created from the impressions that I gained of their personalities and interests. The setting was also very easy for me to visualise as the various parts of Brighton and Hove where the girls live is well described.
Lou is the first of the girls to be introduced to the reader. She is on the train commuting to her job as a counsellor in a school for children who have been excluded. She is a people watcher and as she hides behind her IPOD she is observing the other passengers in her carriage, including the couple across the aisle. The woman is quite a bit younger than the man and he is stroking her hand, until that is he is suddenly sick and then crashes forward in his seat. As Lou realises what is happening she leaps to her feet and summons help to find the guard. As the drama unfolds and Simon's body is removed by the emergency services Lou carries on her journey to work by taxi.
Anna has also been on the train in another carriage and is also travelling to work; she's late for a meeting so rushes to catch a taxi which she shares with Lou - hence the start of a new friendship as they share their common experience.
Lastly there is Karen. She's the woman whose hand was being stroked by Simon at that fateful moment in time. She's his wife and mother of their two children. They have a good marriage and are on their way to the solicitors to sign contracts for their new house. Karen is a giver, a caring and generous person who is always thinking about the well being of others. In her ultimate time of need she calls her best friend Anna from the hospital to tell her of her husband's fate. This might seem a bit corny that they are on the same train without knowing it, but I guess there are so many commuters form Brighton to London that it could well happen and it didn't feel wrong in the book. In fact the only thing that did feel wrong was that Karen and Simon's children call Anna 'Godmother Anna' all the time - now that did seem strange and I've never heard of anyone using that term to someone's face - what is wrong with Auntie Anna?
The relationship between these women builds beautifully throughout the book. As Anna does all that she can to support Karen, she decides to introduce Lou firstly because of her background as a counsellor, but also so that she can help Karen gain some perspective of what happened on the train and hopefully stop blaming herself for his death. As we learn more about the girls we realsise that it is not jsut Karen who needs support. Lou is struggling with 'coming out' and sharing her real sexual preferences and Anna's partner is making her life very traumatic and stressful. Over the course of the week from Simon's death to his funeral the girls become involved in each others traumas and life changing events to such an extent that you are left feeling that the lives of all three will be intertwined for a long time to come. I really believe that being so intricately involved in such a horrific event can create lifelong ties over a very short space of time and I genuinely believed in the communications that arose between them as they sought to deal with the cruelty that life has throw at them. It is this that makes this such a homely, cosy and inspiring read and masks the underlying sadness.
The structure of the book also contributes to its readability. The main chapter headings are the days of the week starting with Monday and ending the following Sunday, with a short ending section moving the reader on six months ahead to provide a satisfactory conclusion and tying up some loose ends that I would have otherwise been left wondering about. Within each chapter there are sub sections headed up by time and again further sub sections devoted to each of the girls, so that we can see what they are each doing at any one moment. There is therefore a constant swapping between different parts of the story line which helps it to move on at a fast pace and I was never even remotely bored. I also never lost the plot or became confused as I moved between the different characters. It is very easy to find a convenient place to stop - if you can bear to that is - and that's always a bonus to me to be able to stop at a marked end of section and pick up afresh next time.
Most of the time the book is written in the third person and is descriptive of what the girls are doing or thinking, but there is some dialogue too. Generally it is based in this one week in time, but occasionally it does flash back in time such as when Karen is in the supermarket buying supplies to cater for the funeral she thinks back to last weeks shop and the things that she was buying for Simon to eat or use, or as the food is laid out in her home ready for the funeral she is thinking of the last big catering event they held; Simon's 50th birthday party the year before. These glimpses into the past increase the poignancy of the story and help to become more intimate with the girls.
Sarah Rayner lives in Brighton and this is her third novel. I've not read any of her other novels so can't compare this one to them but I will be looking out for other work by her in the future without doubt. I can thoroughly recommend this book. I think that it probably has a wide range of people that it would appeal too, but if you like a book that is fast paced and delves deeply into the personalities of characters then I'm sure that you will love this book.
Price £5,20 paperback and £4.94 Kindle from Amazon
Summary: A fast paced easy to read book that shows how one moment in time can change peoples lives.