REVIEW: ONE MOMENT, ONE MORNING, BY SARAH RAYNER

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It was an ordinary Monday morning on the 7:44 commuter train to London. Passengers were engaged in a variety of activities. A young woman named Lou, a people watcher, observes the intricate details of one young woman applying her makeup, while she notices that another is leafing through a glossy magazine. One couple, seemingly having a nice conversation, catches Lou’s eye: they seem nice and compatible.

The train has pulled into the station; it is raining hard outside.

And then, suddenly, the man across the aisle has vomited unexpectedly, and after saying “I’m sorry,” he clutches his chest and his head falls to the table.

Pandemonium ensues; and, while some try to call for help, others simply stare.

Within minutes, it is apparent that the man has died…and everything about that morning is no longer ordinary.

One Moment, One Morning: A Novel is the story of how, in a brief spot of time, everything changes. We follow the characters from the train, see how some of their lives intertwine, and before the ending, others will have connected.

Lou, a counsellor for troubled youth (and the people-watcher on the train) has been keeping a secret from her mother. Anna, a well put-together young woman has a troubled home life. And Karen, the wife of the now deceased man, Simon, is stunned by events and will be struggling as she tries to deal with the aftermath. Her two small children, Luke and Molly, will have to learn about the death of their father and deal with that loss.

I liked the characters and how the author showed us what their lives looked like, before and after. Little flashbacks reveal much about each of them, and I felt sad for Karen, as she recalled happier times and realizes that her dreams are now gone.

New friendships develop, however, and a support network surrounds each of the characters. A memorable story from an author I enjoy. 4.5 stars.