One Moment, One Morning: A Novel Paperback – Dec 20 2011
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“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.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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.
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:)
(And don't worry that I'm giving away the plot. This all happens in the first chapter).
This one event ties these women together. It also causes them to examine their lives in the wake of Simon's death. Lou is struggling with coming out to her friends and family and realizes that hiding is hurting her. Anna is in her early 40's and in a destructive relationship. Karen is reeling, but the tragedy makes her keenly aware of everything that she does have in her life.
This piece of light women's fiction deals with the unthinkable -- the sudden death of a spouse -- which is a fear of most of us, but it's worth reading for the hope and strength that Karen finds as her friends and family help her survive. Rayner's descriptions of each of these 3 women's inner life is right on. The interesting London setting also elevates this novel.