ONE MINUTE LATER by Susan Lewis
21st February 2019, Harper Collins UK
It’s takes one minute to change everything…
Vivienne Shager has it all. A highflying job. A beautiful apartment. Friends whose lives are as perfect as her own. But on the afternoon of her 27th birthday, Vivi has a heart attack.
Now Vivi’s life shrinks back to how it begun, as she moves back to the small seaside town she grew up in. With her time running out, there is one thing she wants to know the truth about.
Some secrets are best left in the past…
Thirty years earlier, Shelley’s family home, Deerwood farm, bursts full of love and happiness. But one family member has hidden a secret for all these years. Until Vivi comes home demanding answers, and it takes just a moment to unravel the lie at their heart of their lives…
Vivienne thinks she has it all. The flat in the posh part of London, the great job as a lawyer, lots of good friends and a boyfriend that doesn’t want to be in her pockets but when on her birthday she has a massive heart attack her whole life is altered.
As Vivi finds out she needs a new heart and whilst waiting for one to become available her whole life has to change otherwise there is a high chance she won’t live she has to uproot to her childhood home so she can be looked after by her family and friends. As she tries to adjust to this new lifestyle she is also determined to find out about her real father, a secret her mother is intent on holding.
The story jumps from present day to 1989 where we are introduced to the Raynor family who live at Deerwood Farm and although we get to see lots about their lives and obviously know there is a link between the two stories, we have no idea what that link is until much later in the book, although as it progresses you don’t start to think the story is going one way. I quite enjoyed the Raynor story, more than the Vivienne story if I’m honest. Deerwood was described as a very beautiful place and really felt like it came alive.
I have to be honest and say that the link between the 2 for me was very disappointing. I felt that there was a huge build up throughout the story that ended on an anti climax. Small characters had a brief mention to then have a huge role later on. I also didn’t have a huge connection with Vivienne, I found her irritating and she took some of the shine away from the story for me. I feel like the link was sort of included to take it away from being a romance novel and try and turn it into a thriller and that didn’t really work for me. I would definitely describe this book as a romance.
That being said the book has been give a 4 star review by me because the ending is so good. I actually got goosebumps and felt myself getting very emotional throughout the last few pages. It didn’t go where I thought it would, but this pleased me as the ending it did have seemed a bit more realistic than what I expected to happen. You can certainly tell that Susan has done her research into heart failure and transplants as the information included seems to be spot on. The ending completely turned the book around for me.
If your looking for something a bit more hard hitting than just a regular run of the mill romance novel then definitely give this a try.
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