Like most great novels One Moment, One Morning starts with a shock event on a train, which interlinks the three main characters. It follows Karen who is widowed on the train, leaving her a single mother to Luke and Molly. Anna is Karen’s best-friend who lived with Steve an alcoholic, painter and decorator. Lou is a counsellor for troubled teens in london, with a difficult relationship with her own mother, who sits opposite Karen and her husband Simon on the train.
‘Then she hears her mother’s voice, from decades back, when she herself was small, explaining: “But, dear, the world is unfair.” Then the phase was used to justify other children having more than Anna did: guests having bigger helpings of pudding, friends with nicer toys, classmates getting more pocket money. A simple philosophy, for sure, but the only one that seems to make any sense of everything that has happened’.
The Two Week Wait explores the difficulties of infertility through Cath and Rich who undergo private IVF following Cath having her ovaries removed due to cancer. It also continues with the theme of Karen, Anna and Lou’s friendship from the first novel, as Lou decides she wants to become a mum while questioning how her sexuality will impact people’s judgements on her parenting ability.
‘I think parenting has so much more to do with character traits than orientation’ I see many patients ‘where straight folk don’t give a second thought to major life decisions – especially having kids. Yet no one makes sweeping statements about how their sexuality affects their parenting skills’
There was recently a programe on BBC 2 called ‘Parents and Platonic’ which really reminded me of Lou and Adam who decide to co-parent together. https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0005q1r
Another Night, Another Day follows Abby, Michael and Karen, their different and difficult circumstances leads them to enter a psychiatric clinic. It is my personal favourite out of the three, because I found the struggles with mental illness and the thereapy sessions very relatable as I have had three different lots of thereapy and counselling in the past.
‘The idea that putting our feelings into words can help us isn’t particularly modern. It’s actually ancient wisdom to suggest that if someone is sad or angry about a situation and we can get them to chat about it, it will probably release some emotions and make them feel better.’
Abby’s son Callum has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) meaning he requires constant care, while her marriage to Glenn becomes increasingly strained.
Michael owns a small independent flower shop which has become financially unviable causing him to face the prospect of bankruptcy.
Karen’s husband died two years ago in One moment, One morning causing her to struggle with grief and being a single parent.
Visit Sarah Rayner’s website https://www.sarah-rayner.com/ to find out more about her and her pubishing company, Creative Pumpkin Publishing.