One Moment by Linda Green
Publishing Date: 5th March 2020
Source: Received from the publisher via NetGalley, thank you!
Number of pages: 400
Genre: General Fiction (Adult)
Finn and Kaz are about to meet for the first time.
Ten-year-old Finn, a quirky, sensitive boy who talks a lot and only eats at cafes with a 5-star hygiene rating, is having a tough time at school and home.
Outspoken Kaz, 59, who has an acerbic sense of humour and a heart of gold, is working at the café when Finn and his mum come in.
They don’t know it yet, but the second time they meet will be a moment which changes both of their lives forever . . .
Ten – year – old Finn Rook – Carter struggles at school, suffering at the hands of his classmates who make fun of his looks and the way he behaves. He only has one real friend, Lottie. 59 – year – old Kaz Allen is quirky, bouncy and fun – loving, even though life has never treated her in a nice way. She works in a cafe and cares for her brother Terry who has schizophrenia.
Finn and Kaz should have never met. But fate has other ideas. And this meeting, and a tragedy, is going to change their lives.
I must admit, I was a bit confused with the story as I was expecting another psychological thriller and I only realised a bit later that the book is different to the previous ones. I didn’t read a synopsis – I mean, it is Linda Green’s book, so no matter what she writes about is going to be captivating and thought – provoking, and yes, the story took me a bit by surprise, but quickly it also stole my heart and captured my whole attention, and I can tell you that I absolutely loved it. Every single word of it.
The characters are so well written – I have experienced all the feelings and emotions together with them. You want to hug Finn and shake his father. You want to tell Kaz that she’s absolutely rocking it. And the more you get to know them all, the more you empathise and like them. I enjoyed seeing how the lives of virtual strangers come together, I think Linda Green has done in a brilliant and clever way.
The story is told from Finn and Kaz’s points of view, in alternating chapters. Finn is different from other boys, and he realises it, and is suffering at school as other children are bullying him. It is only his friend Lottie and his mum Hannah, that he loves so much, that understand him and always support and comfort him. His dad Martin prefers rather cold approach, expecting from Finn all the things that he’s supposed to do and like – sit his SATs exams, like football. Kaz, who works in a cafe and looks after her brother who has schizophrenia, is such a special character! All of us needs such a Kaz in their lives – down – to – earth, seeing things how they really are and not afraid of telling how it is, but also compassionate and full of heart. The author has got into the characters’ heads and hearts and hats off for picturing the 10 – year – old Finn so brilliantly, for so wonderfully capturing his voice, letting us deep into his thoughts, allowing us to experience everything with him.
Also, the story alternates between “before” and “after”, and oh my god, I couldn’t wait to see what has actually happened before, but believe me, I regretted this. This turning point has changed everything and left me a sobbing mess. It may be a bit confusing at the beginning, especially as you, like me, think something totally different to this what has really happened but you’ll quickly get used to the changes in time.
I was drawn into this story, right from the start to the end. This compelling novel is incredibly genuine and brutally honest, showing clearly the unfairness and unreasonableness of benefits system, mental health care, “right” people at the “right” places which results in ignoring the real victims. I’ve honestly got belly ache from only thinking that those things are real and that people like Kaz and Finn must fight a battle every single day to survive.
The author writes with such a feeling about family dynamics, showing all the ups and downs of being in a relationship and having a child with special needs, but also about brother – sister relationship, about responsibility and how people try to do their best. It took me on a real rollercoaster journey of all kinds of feelings – I laughed, I cried, I nodded with agreement, I was incredibly angry, I felt hopeless. It doesn’t happen often, the more I appreciate what the author has done here.
“One Moment” covers such issues as bullying, mental health, poverty and unconditional love. Even though it is sad, it doesn’t feel depressing, it is also heart – warming with an overwhelming feeling of hope, and the kindness of some of the characters is so uplifting. Linda Green’s writing is tender and chatty, and she balances the sadness with many humorous moments, delivering a thought – provoking story. But be aware that it is a heart – breaking story, and this time I mean it, really. The end left me in pieces, literally. I cried and cried and couldn’t stop, and those were ugly tears, and I had to do whatever I could to not to wake my whole family up. It was so beautiful and so heart – wrenching. A book that shouldn’t be missed. Highly recommended!
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