Review of One Moment, One Morning by Sarah Rayner


The Brighton to London line. The 07:44 train. Carriages packed with commuters. A woman applies her make-up. Another occupies her time observing the people around her. A husband and wife share an affectionate gesture. Further along, a woman flicks through a glossy magazine. Then, abruptly, everything changes: a man has a heart attack, and can’t be resuscitated; the train is stopped, an ambulance called. For at least three passengers on the 07:44 on that particular morning, life will never be the same again. Lou witnesses the man’s final moments. Anna and Lou share a cab when they realise the train is going nowhere fast. Anna is Karen’s best friend. And Karen? Karen’s husband is the man who dies. 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, it also reminds us that somehow, and despite everything, life can and does go on.


The reason why I picked this novel up from my local WHSmith which is sadly closing down, is because of the front cover and the blurb. For me, the importance of a beautiful front cover can be a winner or a deal breaker. Seeing as I’m reviewing it, you can probably guess that it wasn’t the latter.

Upon the first couple of pages, the drama well and truly kicks in. With the author, there is no hanging about. We get to know each individual character through the eyes of Lou and before we can blink, the point of view changes to Anna.

After the incident, I found that I could easily guess the rest of the narrative and therefore, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped. The beginning was spectacular but the middle and end lacked. I really hate saying that about books, but as a reviewer, I must be 100% honest. It was very well written with a slow but enjoyable pace.

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