One Moment by Linda Green

I received an ebook via Netgalley. The decision to read was my own and this review forms my honest opinion.

Blurb

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 . . .

Review

Linda Green is a new author for me, and I can quite confidently say that One Moment will not be the last of her books that I will read. Timely and with incredibly authentic characterisation – it’s a thought provoking read.

The real heart of this book are the two narrators; Finn and Kaz. Finn is a ten year old boy, quirky and a little bit different, his school days blighted by bullies. Kaz, meanwhile, is a fifty-nine year old cafe worker struggling to stave off poverty all whilst providing financial and emotional support for her brother who suffers from schizophrenia. These two people are world’s apart – and yet when their lives collide in the most awful of ways, a beautiful friendship develops.

Each narrative flips between Before and After – the earlier dealing with events in the lead up to the pinnacle moment, the latter dealing with the fallout and acceptance. Together, the narratives weave steadily and enticingly towards the reveal of that terrible moment. However, as much as I wanted to know what happened, it was not the promise of the reveal that kept me reading, instead, I was utterly enchanted by both Kaz and Finn. Each voice came through so strongly, there was never a second where I didn’t know who was talking to me, and each sparkled with personality, humour and heart. Finn has the innocent mind of a child – his youthful misinterpretations of the adult world lead to a mix of laughs, and damp eyes. Yet, amongst that innocence is a striking wisdom. Kaz meanwhile is a true diamond; tough, straightforward and has a very clear sense of right and wrong. Through her eyes, much of what society deems to be a priority, fades into insignificance, often in a sadly, laughable way. Her way is so simple, that it makes you wonder why life has become so complex. Midway through the book a confrontation she had with Finn’s Dad really made me sit up and pay attention. Her views on happiness and what actually constitutes it, have made me reconsider my own thoughts and actions.

One Moment is the kind of book that encourages reflection. Once finished, I pressed pause and allowed myself time to digest. There are fatalistic undertones – the idea that everything happens for a reason, our lives are mapped out and no meeting is by pure chance, and it’s a liberating thought. Thematically, it’s wonderfully positive; friendship, kindness, love and family. It reminds me of a saying my Mum has drummed into me my entire life; everything happens for a reason, and in that I’ve found some comfort, so that even in the darkness there is purpose.

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