Saturday 9 April 2016

Reviewed: One Moment at Sunrise by Karen Aldous

TITLE: One Moment at Sunrise
AUTHOR: Karen Aldous

PUBLICATION DATE: April 18, 2016

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Nothing will ever be the same again…

Evie Grant has spent two years hidden away in a quiet French village, longing to escape her beautiful villa with its blue-shuttered windows. Maybe this summer, the father of her child will keep his broken promises and return to whisk her away to another life. One way or another, Evie’s determined to stop feeling like his dirty little secret…

Yet when a mysterious stranger almost knocks Evie off her bicycle early one morning, her world begins to change in ways she never expected. Embarking on a painful journey of self-discovery, Evie begins to face her darkest fears and shatter her fragile dreams. But can she ever truly break free from her gilded cage and learn to love again?

One Moment at Sunrise is Karen Aldous’ fourth novel and my favourite so far. With depth, honesty and pure emotion, it tells the story of Evie, a woman so isolated and restricted from life, or maybe more from living life, that you can’t help but will her into finding some freedom, bonding with the family she’s lost contact with and most importantly of all, ditching the controlling Seb for good and making a life for herself and her daughter. This is a beautiful tale of one woman’s self-discovery, utterly convincing and compelling.

I was drawn into this book right away as the opening chapter sets the rest of the story up really well. As soon as we meet Evie, we can see her frustration at life and how she keeps on being let down by her partner. Another thing apparent right from the beginning is the lovely relationship she has with her daughter, Charlotte, who is approaching her second birthday. Charlotte was such a sweet character, herself at the stage of trying to figure out the world with her mispronunciations and attachment to her mum and need for attention. Evie’s biggest strength in this book is always putting her daughter’s needs first and because of that, she’s an easy character to connect with and root for, which is something I think you really need for this particular story to keep your attention right to the end.

The supporting characters in One Moment at Sunrise were mostly lovely too. My favourites were Evie’s sister, Cally, and her neighbour, Suzanne. Cally in particular I really enjoyed getting to know almost at the same time Evie got to know her too.

Another of my favourite characters was Ben, a film director who Evie meets in quite dramatic circumstances early on. I loved seeing how their friendship grew and Karen wrote their connection really beautifully. Throughout the book, we get to hear what Evie is thinking a lot which allows the reader to really get to know her as a character and see how her feelings and aspirations develop as she takes an interest in both Ben and the film he is directing. We’re also able to see glimpses of Ben’s character, his feelings and motives and though he is definitely secondary to Evie in how much we hear from him, there’s depth to his character and his interesting backstory. Plus he was, as expected from one of Karen’s novels, a bit of a hunk too…

Evie’s research into the film Ben was directing added a different dimension to One Moment at Sunrise and I was surprised to find it really fascinating learning about the history which combined with Evie’s imagination and take on the story became really vivid and engaging. I loved how Evie really came out of her shell when researching for the film and through the character of Maria Mendoza, she almost began to discover and find the person she wanted to be, if she could escape from the claustrophobic hold Seb had over her.

Even though I had already expected to like this book having enjoyed everything by this author, I wasn’t expecting to love is as much as I did, but I think it’s Karen Aldous’s best book to-date. The story is really riveting, very touching whilst at the same time providing a fair bit of drama which had me turning the pages really quickly to see how things would transpire. The aspect I loved about One Moment at Sunrise the most was how empowering a story it was. As Evie is trying to find herself in a world where her life has being controlled for so long, it’s easy to understand and relate to her want for a better life for herself and the people she cares about. Watching her take little steps to creating this better life for herself and her daughter is ultimately uplifting.


  1. Wow, such a beautiful review Sophie, I'm really touched. Thank you. Xx


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