Matthew Tinsley, 52, Brighton
'It was a real pleasure to meet you at the launch of Another Night, Another Day last week. Having worked in bookshops all my life, it was lovely for my wife Clare and I to be at your special event. I even said to Clare how familiar it felt, and it was really fascinating to hear your discussion with your publisher and to learn more about how your books come to life.
Clare finished your novel the next day, I took a couple of days longer. I found myself getting very emotional whilst reading it, particularly Michael's story. Your description of his internal life was exactly my own experience and my period in rehab was similar in many ways to the clinic you write about. My view of my own depression is that it is like a badly broken leg - it may have healed but there will always be a fragility and vulnerability to another break. I try and take good care of my mental health using mindfulness and avoiding stressful situations where possible.
I also liked the way the new novel dovetailed with the others - a kind of peek behind the curtain as to what was going on with other characters at the same time. I am sure it will be successful as One Moment, One Morning and The Two Week Wait. I hope so, as such an important subject as mental health deserves to have the light shone on it, which Another Night, Another Day provides.'
Nosiphiwo Nkowane, 30, Young 'n hopeful, South Africa
'I just finished reading The Two Week Wait and it was a beautiful read. I've been trying to conceive for almost two years so I fully identified with the emotional struggles of the ladies in your book. The book brought home to me the different struggles of infertility, gave me hope as I read about Frankie and actually encouraged me to join a forum on infertility to learn more about my options in South Africa. I'm still young and am very optimistic. But just wanted to say 'Thank You' for your book for unlocking my own emotions on the issue.'
Barbara Sullivan, 58, PA for the City of San Francisco
'I was recently on a vacation in Croatia and they had a little library for guests. I saw One Moment, One Morning and picked it up - having no idea what the storyline might be. As I read it, it became a very important book to me for personal reasons. My brother, who was two years younger than me passed away a year ago at age 56 due to pancreatic cancer. He left behind two boys - a 19-year-old and a 4-year-old. So many of the things in your book rang true for what his wife and sons are, no doubt, going through. They are feelings I share in having lost this wonderful brother and person. The relationships between the women in your book were also very dear to me; having a few good friends as I do, I know how they serve as a foundation for me in my life. I have also lost several friends - very close friends - in the past few years, as well as my mother, so loss and grief have quite present in my life recently. Your book helped to again touch those feelings with a sense of gratitude, not only of loss. I have never written to an author before, but wanted to tell you how close to my heart your book was. I have put the book back in the library and I hope the next readers will embrace it as much as I did.'
Abby Watson, 13, schoolgirl
'I read One Moment, One Morning last year when I was 12 and was touched by the way you dealt with the concept - it was a truly wonderful book. So, as you can imagine, I rushed out to Waterstones when I discovered The Two Week Wait had come out. Although I am only 13 and cannot hope to relate properly to the book until I am much older, it was a surprisingly real and moving read - I found myself hoping that Lou and Cath would succeed and then felt unhappy for them when they encountered obstacles even though they are just characters. I eagerly turned each page, not wanting to stop and when I reached the end my eyes watered with sadness. You are a really talented writer to be able to portray such real emotions through the pages of a book and to create such a life-like scenario. The book also opened my eyes to the problems people encounter when all they want is a relatively simple thing - a child of their own. I can honestly say this story will stay with me for a lifetime. When I looked at your website I saw the wide range of ages of some of the reviews. It is lovely so many people can enjoy your books. I will definitely be recommending both to my friends! :)'
Ali Jacobs, 40, copywriter
'It's been a long two year wait for me, having thoroughly enjoyed One Moment, One Morning, but The Two Week Wait was definitely worth it. The first delight was being reintroduced to the characters I encountered in One Moment (although this cannot be defined as a sequel), as Cath was seemlessly introduced into the story. I then loved that you wasted little time in getting the themes of the plot out there - infertility, cancer and finding alternative ways towards parenthood - and effortlessly built the character's relationships into a wonderful heartwarming tale. As a cancer survivor, I found one aspect especially poignant and accurate; How a woman deals with the consequences of living beyond remission, facing up to infertility and the emotional impact on loved ones. The other key strand - egg sharing - was meticulously researched but not to the point where it read like a list of facts - the story continually kept building emotional pace. Your greatest storytelling strength to me though, is the way your characters come to life. I invested in them, worried about their decisions and situations and sometimes got angry with them and for them. The dialogue and thought processes were all very relatable, yet they still had the power to surprise me. I definitely feel there are more intriguing stories to follow about them, and am even prepared to endure a two year wait if the resulting book is as satisfying as this one.'
Gemma Peacock, 23, Macmillan Support:
'I would just like to say how amazing I think your novel One Moment, One Morning is. I started up a Reading Group two months ago and yours was the second book we read. We all loved it. I couldn’t put it down, I think it could possibly be the quickest I ever read a book. It was so emotional and true to life. I could really get myself involved with the characters. I also loved that one story was told from three different points of view. It was very interesting being able to discuss the book with the rest of their group and hear their opinions on it, especially as one lady has experienced a similar thing to Anna, with Steve’s alcohol problems. I won’t keep you any longer, but I will say thank you for writing such a great and enjoyable book and I am looking forward to reading your other books very soon.'
Alice Appleton, 48, Solicitor:
'I absolutely loved The Two Week Wait - you are so astute at understanding human beings; it rang so true. And yet not predictable. I loved the way for instance it was the male who broke down and cried,not the female. I loved the way Lou's mum defies expectations near the end, and at the start Sofia doesn't want to have a baby but Howie does, because age is more relevant to wanting a baby than gender is; and personality is more relevant than sexual orientation - one gay guy wants kids and another does not. It's just really clever, and I am so full of admiration. I am going out to my book club any minute and going to take both your books to recommend.'
Jean Nuttall, 60, Retired Teacher:
'Just to say I've read all of your books now and I love them all! The problem is I'm suffering from sleep deprivation as I can't put them down!! I have been fortunate to have children but I do have friends who haven't been able to. I would think The Two Week Wait would really help those women who have difficulties and indeed help them to come to terms with their own problems. Again, you have sensitively written about modern day issues and relationships. I really, really enjoyed it. I loved the two earlier books, The Other Half and Getting Even - they capture the age group of the characters perfectly - and I could see my younger self in so many ways. However if I had to have a favourite, it would be One Moment... and consequently I'm reading it again - it should become an 'A' Level novel or a film.'
Jonathan Greenhow, 61, Independent Domestic Abuse:
'I hope this is complimentary and not patronising. Thank you for writing One Moment, One Morning. I was encouraged to add it to my 3 for 2 bundle at Waterstones as a promotion for having spent more than a tenner. Bless the young woman, working hard to impress her manager before she escapes back to Uni (I’m guessing)! This story raised tears for me more than any other I have read in my 61 years. I enjoyed the emotional intelligence a lot. How people (mainly women) support each other is put into words such as many men would gain an insight by reading this. I shall use this as a reference in my own work as you weave well into the plot a description of why women stay with an abuser longer than is good for their own safety. This is a great strength of the novel.'
Lorna Alexander, 64, retired Civil Servant
'Hi Sarah, I e-mailed you after reading One Moment to tell you how much I'd enjoyed it and you said you'd be interested in what I thought of your other books (which I’d ordered on Amazon). Well, I've just finished The Other Half and loved it. It was lighter reading but it still kept me lying in bed all morning to find out how it ended! The characters were so believable and I liked them all, even Jamie! I've ordered Getting Even and I'm really looking forward to reading it too.'
Andrew Barnett, 45, Financial Consultant
'Just to say I finished One Moment, One Morning last night and thought it was excellent. The characters were so well described and the pace of the book was just right – 400 pages just flew by. The way you managed to intertwine the three main issues with one timeline was very well done – making a fascinating and moving read. I am not sure who your "target market" is but I am a 45-year-old male and I would personally recommend this book to anyone.'
Lisa Harper, 43, Administrator
'Hi Sarah, I read One Moment One Morning in the summer in the garden sitting on my stripey deckchair. I live five minutes from Wivelsfield station in Burgess Hill and also visit Brighton frequently mainly to shop and eat in Donatellos. I just wanted to tell you how much I loved your book. It was emotional - I cried a lot - thought provoking and a pure page-turner. I didn't want it to end. I loved the characters, they felt like real people, and the fact it was based in the area in which I live. The best book i've read this year. Two of my friends have read it also and loved it.'
Hattie Gordon, 36, Mother and Writer
'One Moment, One Morning had me gripped from page one. The authenticity of the daily commute from Brighton to London, then the puncturing of routine with such drama – I had to know how this story would play out. I very much liked the format of cutting between the three inter-related characters, revealing their sensibilities and life stories incrementally yet deftly weaving the three lives together. I feel this is one of the novel’s strongest points, as it is reflective of real life – huge drama unfolds for one person – in this case bereavement – and it seems the world should stop, yet everybody else’s lives continue with their particular complexities. In terms of the writing itself, what consistently struck me was the ability to observe terribly complex emotions and dynamics, and distil them in a line or two. The issues raised – addiction, sudden death of a spouse, and hidden sexuality – are pertinent to so many. Each reader will surely identify with one of the themes in some way or know of such experience second-hand. I found the story to be rich with life and its occasionally brutal truths regarding loss and the necessity of letting go. But fundamentally for me it was a story about love; in new relationships, in the history of a husband and wife and their children, and, ultimately, in friendship.'