One Moment, One Morning Review (Goodreads First Reads)

One Moment, One Morning
by Sarah Rayner
I won this book via Goodreads First Reads.
Summary: The Brighton to London line. The 7:44 am train. Cars packed with commuters. One woman occupies her time observing the people around her. Opposite, a girl puts on her make-up. Across the aisle, a husband strokes his wife’s hand. Further along, another woman flicks through a glossy magazine. Then, abruptly, everything changes: a man collapses, the train is stopped, and an ambulance is called.

For at least three passengers on the 7:44 on that particular morning, life will never be the same again. There’s Lou, in an adjacent seat, who witnesses events first hand. Anna, who’s sitting further up the train, impatient to get to work. And Karen, the man’s wife.
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 to shatter everything. Yet it also reminds us that somehow, despite it all, life can and does go on.

Review:  I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars.
This was a great story. When I opened it and started reading, I couldn’t put it down. After the action packed events at the beginning, however, the story was very slow going. 
Despite being detailed, I couldn’t connect with the characters. There was plenty of thought and background information provided for each character, but I still didn’t connect. The book switches between the three main characters in third person present tense narrative. 
I felt the dialogue was a bit boring and in a lot of places it was used simply to provide a space for the character to interject a passing thought. It was almost as if the story felt forced, like the author was telling me instead of showing me. There were some great moments, especially the beginning, the end, and various emotionally charged scenes where everything flowed quite nicely. The rest of the story just seemed a bit awkward. I know there were many scenes that served a purpose to provide the reader with background information to explain why the character is thinking/feeling the way they were, but again, it seemed TOLD not shown. 
I think the author has a lot of potential and I enjoyed the story. 
I also loved the cover. I didn’t quite understand the cover at first, but after seeing the stressful moments in which tea was served cup after cup, I thought the cover was pretty clever. I would definitely read more from this author.

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