I kind of think of Susan Lewis as a British Jodi Picoult, with sweeping, family-driven, issues-laden stories that focus on human emotion and are generally written from multiple perspectives. I don’t mean that as a criticism at all. I really like those kinds of books. They’re meaty, but not gory – focused on human emotions and human lives, and full of relatable characters. So when I saw that Susan Lewis’s latest book was available for request on NetGalley, I clicked the request button, and was even more delighted to be approved.
Your life can change in a heartbeat…
Brilliantly emotional, suspenseful and page-turning, One Minute Later is the stunning new novel from the Sunday Timesbestselling author, Susan Lewis.
Susan Lewis – behind every secret lies a story.
The new novel from Sunday Times bestselling author, Susan Lewis.
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…
I enjoyed this book a lot. At its heart a romance, the story of Vivi learning to adapt to her new life and how things have changed when she suffers a major cardiac incident is by turns swoonworthy and heartbreaking, and intertwined with Shelley’s story thirty years earlier, there’s plenty going on here to keep you entertained.
From the beginning of the book, I had my suspicions about how things would turn out, and although I got some aspects right, I got some aspects very wrong, and was delighted to see how the past intertwined with the present. Having thought about how the plot played out, I can totally see that there were hints there that I should have picked up on, which is testament to Lewis’ style of writing. I feel a bit like someone being held by the hand and explained something gently after the fact, and then feeling really impressed that there were hints of it laid out throughout the book.
The ending, however, felt a little rushed and a little disappointing, because it could easily have been the best part of the book. Sadly, I didn’t feel like it was given enough time to really land, and resonate, but I can understand as well why that decision was made.
An important theme through the book is the need for people to register as organ donors. Without being preachy, it’s interesting to see how a real-life campaign and person – Jim Lynskey and Save9Lives.com – can be intertwined with the fictional story of Vivi and finding her heart. I’m already signed up to be an organ donor, and have made my wishes known to my parents, but if even one person comes away from this book and decides to sign up to be a donor, that’s the potential for nine more lives to be saved.
Packed with emotion and enough twists and turns to keep anyone entertained, this was a great addition to Susan Lewis’s huge body of work, and well worth the time.
One Minute Later is released on 21st February (next Thursday!) and should be available in all good bookshops from then.