Who knew a friendship between a 10-year-old Alan Titchmarsh fanatic and a 59-year-old, sheep-apron-wearing café worker could make for such an uplifting yet heart-breaking novel?
One Moment is a compelling story that flitters between the ‘before’ and ‘after’ perspectives of our protagonists Finn and Kaz; two characters who are worlds apart but will impact each other’s lives forever.
Finn is a quirky, ten-year-old, Alan Titchmarsh fanatic who is having a tough time both at home, where his parents relentlessly argue, and at school where he is teased and led to feel like an outcast.
Meanwhile, Kaz, 59, is the sole carer to her younger, schizophrenic brother Terry. She is working at the café when along come Finn and his mum. They don’t know it yet, but the second time they meet will be a moment which changes both of their lives forever . . .
Life isn’t about having a well-paid job and a nice house. Believe me, I’d like both of them, but I’m not daft enough to think they’re more important than being happy.Kaz, One Moment by Linda Green.
What I appreciated most about this novel was the raw portrayal of characters and themes that we don’t see enough in fiction. For instance, like Finn, too many young children are increasingly pressurised to conform to gender stereotypes which, as Green deftly represents, restricts their emotional development, future ambitions and ability to simply be themselves. Finn’s quirks, such as his pre-requisite for the cafes he eats at to have 5-star hygiene ratings and his dream of becoming a gardener with a sundry of rose-gardens, are what make him delightfully special. Children, or anyone for that matter, should not have to shroud their passions to conform to ostensible societal standards.
Additionally, with the sardonically humorous Kaz, Green gives a voice to the marginalised in our society. Rampant social inequalities mean that the poorest communities in our country suffer the cuts and austerity that, subsequently, wreak havoc on mental and physical health. That being said, it was touching to learn the innermost thoughts of these characters, and an absolute joy to witness Finn and Kaz’s new-fangled friendship blossom.
Overall, One Moment is a tender, heart-warming book comprised of a beautiful friendship and poignant societal issues.
If this book wasn’t admirable enough, Linda Green will be making donations from the royalties of One Moment to the mental health charity Mind www.mind.org.uk; the AntiBullying Alliance www.anti-bullyingalliance.org.uk, and the Trussel Trust www.trusseltrust.org who run many of UK’s foodbanks.
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Thanky ou NetGalley and Quercus Books for the free e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Thanks for reading!