One Minute Later by 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…
One Minute Later
I’m going to be completely honest here. This is my first read by this author and it took me a few tries to get into it. I don’t know if it was because it hit close to home—a few weeks ago my mother was in the hospital for her heart (she’s fine but the stress of the scare took an emotional toll)—or my more recent preoccupation with an upcoming grad school paper (neuroscience of trauma and PTSD), but it took me forever to read the first chapter because my mind just couldn’t focus on it long enough to connect with the lead character. Eventually, I was able to push my way through, and I’m so glad I did! This was a great story with a powerful and important message.
What I learned from my initial struggles to read this book is that, sometimes, a great book gets a bad rap because the reviewer isn’t in the right mental headspace to read it at that time. And because they aren’t in the mental headspace to read that story, they may not give it the mental attention and consideration it deserves, or worse, they just might miss out on one amazing read.
Lucky for me, I was able to get where I needed to be to read this book and what I discovered is that Vivienne Shager is a great character. A strong, independent woman with a successful career and an ingrained desire to succeed. Her workaholic nature and her unhealthy dedication to her ambition put some serious, unnecessary stress on her body and heart, but I think anyone with a passion and drive for success would’ve been the same within this set of circumstances.
We always think we are invincible until the reality of our lifestyle choices rises up to prove us wrong, and that’s exactly what Vivi’s heart attack did for her. It opened her eyes and forced her to make some hard decisions for herself and her future. Clearly, Vivi was on the wrong road to begin with and needed to chance course, but it took her heart attack to force her to make this change in course, which then lead her back to where it all began—home.
The one thing Vivi has struggled with all her life is not knowing enough about her past. The secrets her mother has kept from her has driven a deep wedge between them and despite Vivi’s need for her mother while she waits for an organ donation, the divide is still as wide and as troubling as ever.
All in all, this was a beautiful, powerful, heartbreaking, tearjerker of a tale about a woman who is trying to do everything in her power to cope with the secrets in her past, the stark reality of her present, and the danger and uncertainty that clouds her future. Thought-provoking, poignant, and emotional, author Susan Lewis has delivered an influential tale about grief, loss, family, secrets, lies, and the powerful connection that two humans can share even amid the grimmest of circumstances.
Category: Adult | Genre: Women’s Fiction
Purchase the Book
About SUSAN LEWIS
Susan Lewis is the internationally bestselling author of more than forty books across the genres of family drama, thriller, suspense, and crime. She is also the author of Just One More Day and One Day at a Time, the moving memoirs of her childhood in Bristol during the 1960s. Following periods of living in Los Angeles and the South of France, she currently lives in Gloucestershire with her husband, James; stepsons, Michael and Luke; and mischievous dogs, Coco and Lulu.