23 October 2013

Book Review: The Moment by Claire Dyer

"Paddington station, nine a.m., rush hour. As the crowds ebb and flow, time suddenly stands still for two people: Fern and Elliott, ex-lovers who parted twenty-five years before and never expected to see each other again.

But here they are, face to face, and the connection is as powerful as it was the day they first met. Their lives have moved on - to marriage, children and divorce - yet neither has stopped regretting the day that drove them apart.

Fern gives Elliott her number and they tentatively arrange to meet again that evening when both will be travelling back through the station. And, as the day ticks on, and the memories resurface, both Fern and Elliott reflect on the past. As their emotions go round in circles, so does the Paddington clock, counting down the minutes to eight p.m. - and the moment the future is in their hands."

Rating: 2/5

You can buy The Moment as a paperback or an eBook now.

I was sent this book for review a few months ago, and I finally got around to reading a couple of weeks ago. A quote on the front says that it's 'this year's 'One Day'' - I haven't read that book yet but have heard such good things about it that I was very hopeful about this one. To be compared to such a novel can only be a good thing, right? So, I entered the book with big hopes, but unfortunately, it didn't quite live up to them for me. I found it hard work to read, and found that I was only reading on to the end simply because I'd read so much already and I wanted to know how it ended!

Years ago, when they were teenagers and at university, Fern and Elliott had a relationship that they were both happy in, and both seemed sure that they'd found the one they wanted to be with. But when it ends suddenly, leaving Fern heartbroken and Elliott confused, the pair part ways, not destined to see each other again for 25 long years. When a chance meeting at a train station one morning brings them both together again, the pair are forced to make decisions which may change the paths of their lives forever. Fern needs to decide if she wants to meet Elliott again later that evening, and what that decision will mean to both of them. They start thinking about their past together, and what different one moment can make...

I will say the premise of the book had me intrigued. I wanted to know what had happened between Fern and Elliott to split them up all those years ago, I wanted to know if it was going to end well or badly, and how it would end up too. However, that was pretty much all that kept me reading really. I found that the story was really slow, so slow that I found myself getting quite bored with it and not wanting to continue in parts. The narrative was both Elliott and Fern, and consequently I found parts of the story were repeated from each person's point of view, and it seemed like I was reading the same thing twice over, there was nothing new happening. The action takes place only over one day as well, so it didn't allow for things to happen too quickly, and for me it was just too slow.

The other problem I had with the book was that I didn't really care for Fern and Elliott, or their relationship either. I didn't especially care if Fern made the decision to see Elliott at the end of the day, what Elliott decided to do at the station, and if they got back together or never saw one another again. Even once I had found out what happened between them, it didn't make me care any more for their story, and I was only determined to finish it because I'd come so far and I didn't want to waste that much of the book. Much of Fern's part of the book takes place at a pottery class, and to be honest, this was totally dull, and I really didn't connect with either Fern or what she was doing... it was so slow I honestly just lost interest.

For me, I really didn't enjoy reading The Moment, and I can't say I would recommend reading it. I found the pace far too slow for me, it had characters I didn't care about and therefore I just struggled to connect to the story in any way. Dyer's writing did bring to life the emotions of the characters, but by that point, I had lost interest in it and it wasn't enough to fix the rest of it for me. The ending was interesting, perhaps the only ending Dyer could have chosen when reading it, but again that wasn't for me - I like things ended and in a neat package and this didn't deliver on that front, I hate uncertainty. It's a shame that I just did not enjoy The Moment, I'm sure there are people out there who will like it, but it just was not for me.

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