Paperback: 405 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Picador, 2010
Source: Tywyn Public Library
First Sentences: 'Lou is pretending to be asleep, but out of the corner of her eye she is watching the woman opposite put on her make-up.'
Review Quote: 'An intimate, thoughtful novel celebrating women's friendship and loyalty.' Waterstone's Books Quarterly.
My Opinion: A sad subject for a novel but Sarah Rayner carries it off.
Sarah Rayner is an author I have only recently come across and this is the first book I have read of hers. Impressed by this début novel I have already sourced a copy of her latest published last year 'The Two Week Wait'. The subject matter of this story is a sad one but the author carries it off with out becoming unduly sentimental and with good characterisations. The main themes of the novel are death, grief, alcoholism and sexuality, cleverly dealt with this made for a pleasurable read. I also enjoyed the fact that the novel is set in Brighton, a city I am fond of and I felt the atmosphere of the place was expressed well in this novel.
Following the lives of three female protagonists over a period of just one week; starting with a terrible tragedy that links them together. Karen Finnegan is on an early morning train from Brighton to London, with her husband when tragedy strikes. So for Karen a period of learning to cope with a very different life to the one she is used to begins. The other two women are her best friend Anna who in supporting Karen realises that her own personal life is very unsatisfactory and that she needs to make some changes. Lou the third young women gains a whole new point of view on life through a chance encounter with Anna and via her getting to know Karen and being in a position to help both these grieving women. The descriptions of this period in these young womens lives are very plausible and at times quite moving.
If you can cope with a novel that tugs at your heart strings then this is definitely worth reading.
Sarah was born in London and spent her childhood years in Richmond, Surrey, becoming a punk with spiky hair. After studying English at Leeds University she returned to London and started a career in fashion PR. Her boss suggested she was better at writing than impressing clients, suggesting she became an advertising copywriter. Taking his advice she then spent ten years in various London agencies, before turning freelance, got some short stories published by Woman’s Own, and for many years combined life as an author and copywriter. Sarah and her partner Tom now live in Brighton along with her teenage stepson who joins them at weekends.
One Moment, One Morning One Moment, One Morning, is fast approaching sales of 300,000 copies in the UK, and is currently being translated into 11 languages. She did publish earlier novels, The Other Half (Orion 2001) and Getting Even (2002), which have been fully revised and updated by the author and just republished by Picador as ebooks available on Amazon.
Sarah's latest novel, The Two Week Wait, was published in the summer of 2012. She calls this is a 'sister' novel rather than a sequel to One Moment, in that it features some of the same characters and is also set in Brighton, yet stands well alone. Ms Rayner is currently working on her fifth novel, which will continue the story of her Brighton-based characters.
You can find Sarah's website at http://www.thecreativepumpkin.com/
Photographs and biographical information courtesy of the following sites.
Official Website for Author Sarah Rayner Amazon Author Profile Goodreads Author Profile
YouTube - One moment with Sarah Rayner