TITLE: One Moment, One Morning
AUTHOR: Sarah Rayner
PUBLISHER/YEAR: St. Martin's Press/2010
GENRE: Adult Contemporary/Drama
SOURCE: St. Martin's Press via Goodreads First Reads program
Goodreads / Author's Website
One Moment, One Morning is set into motion by one shocking event on the 7:44AM train from Brighton to London. A man, we later learn is named Simon, dies of a sudden heart attack and those around him are left to pick up the pieces.
The story follows Karen, Simon's wife, Anna, her best friend and Lou stranger turned friend as they deal with loss, grief and family issues. One Moment, One Morning has a fairly heartbreaking premise. Sudden death is always horrifying. I went into this book thinking it was going to be an emotionally manipulative plot with some tender moments, a book that my mother would love. I expected to get through it quickly thinking it was an airport kind of read. I was right on some counts, but so wrong on others.
I do think this book is a little manipulative, but I kind of find that with a lot of books that deal with death, so that's probably just me. That having been said, sometimes a little manipulation isn't a bad thing. I was so wrong about this being an airport read. I pretty much wept throughout the entire book; crying in the airport over a book is not my idea of a good time. My roommates are probably thinking I'm an unstable, crazy person now, but I don't care. It was so touch and so heartbreaking. These characters truly cared about each other and I love that. I love that we have a book about three women and the women are all truly caring people. There was no backstabbing. It was so refreshing.
The book is structured around the days of the week. Nothing much happens as we follow these characters for the seven days following Simon's death. There are no other major events, but that's okay. It reflects upon their grief, on how they all deal with death. I liked the structure and how it dealt with individual moments. I found the way each character dealt with their issues to be very honest and rooted in realism. I could relate to each character and I think that's why I found it so heartbreaking.
My minor quibble with the book is that it is written entirely in the present tense. Just a pet peeve of mine. It takes me out of the story, although I always get the feeling it's meant to make it more pressing and connect the reader.
This was a good book for a rainy day. Although it took me much longer than that to read (due to the tears you see, wiping them away takes time)! It has it's faults, but it sucked me in and I honestly didn't think I would. I credit Rayner for creating characters that I truly felt for.