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One Moment, One Morning: A Novel [Paperback]

Sarah Rayner

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Book Description

Dec 20 2011

The Brighton to London line. The 7:44 am train. Cars packed with commuters. One woman occupies her time observing the people around her. Opposite, a girl puts on her make-up. Across the aisle, a husband strokes his wife’s hand. Further along, another woman flicks through a glossy magazine. Then, abruptly, everything changes: a man collapses, the train is stopped, and an ambulance is called.
For at least three passengers on the 7:44 on that particular morning, life will never be the same again. There’s Lou, in an adjacent seat, who witnesses events first hand. Anna, who’s sitting further up the train, impatient to get to work. And Karen, the man’s wife.

Telling the story of the week following that fateful train journey, One Moment, One Morning is a stunning novel about love and loss, about family and – above all– friendship. A stark reminder that, sometimes, one moment is all it takes to shatter everything. Yet it also reminds us that somehow, despite it all, life can and does go on.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; Reprint edition (Dec 20 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781250000194
  • ISBN-13: 978-1250000194
  • ASIN: 125000019X
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 13.8 x 2.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #369,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Praise for One Moment, One Morning
"Oh, what a novel ! It will make you laugh and cry, it will make you want to call your dear ones to tell them how much you love them, it will make you buy it for all your friends. When you get to the end, Anna, Lou and Karen will feel like they are your soul sisters. "--Tatiana de Rosnay, author of A Secret Kept and Sarah's Key

"Shocking, gripping, and beautifully rendered.  I found it impossible to put down!"—Beth Harbison, author of Always Something There To Remind Me

"A moving account of what happens to three women in one week when a man dies on a Brighton to London commuter train.  Very impressive."--Bookseller (UK)

"Carried along by the momentum of a suspense-filled yet touching story that drives to the core of human emotion, this book is a real page-turner, exploring the harrowing pain of loss and grief, family secrets and how a tragic event can force you to be honest about who you really are. You’ll want to inhale it in one breath."--Easy Living (UK)

"Rayner is a swift, efficient plotter, nudging her characters towards the light of congruence and self-reliance. Her Brighton is carefully and affectionately mapped, and her account of the gruelling rituals a death involves is deftly done."--The London Times Literary Supplement

About the Author

Sarah Rayner was born in London and now lives in Brighton with her partner. She worked for many years as an advertising copywriter, and now writes fiction full time.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  49 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Moment, One Morning cleverly manages to be more than a novel March 28 2010
By Alison J. Davis - Published on
One Moment, One Morning by Sarah Rayner

Sarah Rayner starts her story with a life-shattering event that could happen to you or to anyone. It is a personal disaster, with huge significance for a lot of people. If it were to occur in your life the consequences would hit you very hard and yet you might never give them a single thought ... until they happen.

And that is not all. The story goes on to uncover a series of events that happen to someone, somewhere every day, and yet each one is a shock and a revelation. One Moment, One Morning is beautifully written as well as surprising, thought-provoking, touching and heart-warming.

The characters in the story quickly become your own close friends. They are buffeted by alarming challenges but, with the help other friends nearby, they survive and cope rather well. The story is an inspirational example of the power of women supporting each other.

Sarah Rayner's novel cleverly manages to be more than a novel. Besides warming your heart, it might help you to handle well some of the worst shocks that could occur in your life.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well written character study Dec 20 2011
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
The morning rush hour from Brighton to London has passengers going about their business when a man pukes, clutches his chest, and collapses. The train stops and the man is rushed by ambulance to a hospital but pronounced dead. On that train amongst the commuters is the deceased's wife Karen, her BFF Anna in a different car, and a witness youth worker Lou who watched the change in the loving couple by the tragedy. Lou and Anna meet when each seeks and shares a taxi.

Karen grieves her shocking unexpected loss but also must be there for her two young children (Molly and Luke) who struggle with the death of their father Simon. Anna takes to heart that a person has only one life so she decides to end her relationship with abusive charming alcoholic Steve while needing to be there for her friend and her godchildren. Lou also is affected as she opens her heart to Sofia and family.

One Moment, One Morning is a discerning well written character study that looks deeply into the impact of a death on three women (and indirectly others in their immediate circle). The storyline focuses on death and rebirth as each feels like quitting on life following the Simon tragedy. However, the trio uses Simon's death as a springboard to new beginnings once each respectively moves past the original denial. Sarah Rayner provides a poignant tale as women proposes but God disposes so get it right the first (and only) time as there are no makeovers.

Harriet Klausner
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the magic of one moment, one morning Dec 3 2010
By persisting stars ~ Maddie ~ - Published on
This week I finished reading Sarah's book `One moment, One Morning' and I am still deeply under the spell of her gorgeous and contemplative story of the friendship between three women whose lives are mysteriously changed forever with a devastating loss. Whilst reading this book I felt such a tenderness peering into the unflinching window of these woman's heart's and was struck profoundly how her writing pulses with the ache of that beautiful intangible quality so resonant of the everyday ~ soul.

Sarah's writing is so true and organic and aches with the universal desire to be loved in all of us.

What? Oh!!! you want to know if the book has a happy ending? You will have to read it yourself:)
17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Soporific Jan. 7 2011
By I LOVE BOOKS - Published on
Apologies for a rather harsh adjective. Admittedly, I am not a chick-lit fan however I do enjoy such books now & then as I find them relaxing; and sometimes one comes along that is actually light but entertaining. Not this one. And please note, it is NOT A THRILLER as wrongly indicated in older copies. I am not even sure it could be defined as "chick-lit" either, it shall be up to the reader to decide.

The opening story: one moment, one morning, on a commuter train from Brighton to London, a man drops dead (first chapter). The lives of three passengers on the same train will forever be altered after that. The author explores various themes, mainly coping with the loss of a loved one. Sad subject, certainly; and strong feelings of bereavement and sorrow permeate, understandably, the lives of those involved.

However a flat and rather repetitive narrative fails to fully deliver. Even what could have been an engaging, uplifting description of a nice friendship between three women (main characters) who try to support each other in times of need, is unconvincing. Hence, while sympathizing with a very depressing situation, I could not empathize with the characters, most of them such... clichés. This is accentuated by a "goody-goody" feel throughout the book, quite unrealistic I thought, rendering the characters quite artificial, boring.

The subject of losing a loved one is probably one of the toughest to write about, even in a made-up story; as mentioned above, it is not the only theme explored, but it is certainly the central one. Despite the effort by the author -and I realise my comment will clash with the reviews published so far- I think that this book fails to impact: it has all the right ingredients wrongly mixed. Sorry.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming Take on Female Friendships Jan. 25 2012
By Nika Ortiz - Published on
This book is a serious reminder of how life is short and how it can change in one instant. It's a big-hearted homage to female friendships set in the campy yet charming seaside town of Brighton, England. Three women are brought together after Karen loses her husband to a heart attack while traveling on a commuter train to London. The story tells how, through their friendship, Karen processes her grief and survives the worst loss of her life. She learns to live again and through the women's dedication to each other we see exactly how

The book is very thought provoking and hard to put down. You become very attached to the characters who are very well-written and uniquely different from each other. All in all, this is a beautiful, inspiring book about life, transition and friendship.

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