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.
A man s sudden death touches off seismic shifts in the lives of three women, wife-turned-widow Karen, neighbor Anna, and teacher and closeted lesbian Lou, in this affecting weeper about friendship and family. Rayner (Getting Even) takes a random tragedy on a morning commuter train from Brighton to London and parses it over the hours of six days plucked from half a year, dissecting the women s emotional unraveling and eventual rebirth as stronger mothers, lovers, friends. The aching loss heaped swiftly upon Karen and her two young children, Molly and Luke, is reason enough to cry, but their search for solace turns from maudlin and mundane to insightful and fresh thanks in part to the pleasing retrospective flashbacks of this family s life. It s his failings that made him who he was, Karen confesses in her plaintive eulogy. And while Karen rebuilds her fractured family, best friend Anna contemplates the end of an abusive relationship with a charming drunk, and Lou finally trusts her heart enough to come out to a family she vastly underestimates. Rayner sets up a tricky emotional minefield for these vulnerable women, but deftly guides them to a place of power and truth.