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Another Night, Another Day (2014)

This tells the story of three people who are all trying to deal with the troubles in their lives and searching for much-needed help. Karen still misses her husband who unexpectedly passed away two years ago, leaving her to raise their two children alone. She is trying her very best to move on, but it looks like she will be forced to say goodbye to her father as well, who is suffering from dementia. Abby is struggling more and more with taking care of her son who has autism. Especially now she and her husband have decided to split up, things are only getting harder for her. Michael has always been incredibly proud of his own flower shop, but business hasn't been great and the shop is now on the verge of closing down. Karen, Abby and Michael all end up in Moreland's Clinic, where they will be able to find the help they need to go on with their lives. But will this be enough to get them back on their feet? This book deals with a sensitive and challenging subject, namely mental health issues. Sarah Rayner obviously did her research and managed to tackle the topic in an incredibly engaging and touching way. I really enjoyed the fact that the book focuses on three main protagonists, who each have their own story to tell but come together at the clinic. All three characters fascinated me and I loved reading about their lives and I continuously kept my fingers crossed hoping things would work out for them. There are also some great secondary characters in the book, such as Lillie, another patient at the clinic, who I couldn't help but warm to. After reading the book, I discovered that some of the characters already appear in Sarah's other novels. This definitely made me even more curious about the other books but you can definitely read this one as a standalone. Overall, Another Night, Another Day is an emotional, insightful and captivating read; a book with a dark topic at its core but dealt with in an engaging and uplifting way. (JoH)

The Two Week Wait (2012)

In the aftermath of a health scare, Lou has come to realise time is running out to have her dream, a baby. Her partner unfortunately doesn't have the same feelings so Lou is undecided whether to go on the journey on her own or not. Cath is longing to start a family with husband Rich but Cath can't conceive as she is infertile. Could Lou and Cath help each other with their own destiny? Sarah Rayner is a good writer - the writing is powerful and keeps you gripped. The story actually left a lump in my throat. I loved Anna - she's the friend everyone wants to have - she is so kind and thoughtful. But Sukey, Cath's sister-in-law, really annoyed me. She was so judgmental and thought she was perfect in every sense of the word, and every time her scenes came up I wanted to throw the book out the window. I've never felt so passionately annoyed by a character before! If you want to read something that will have you gripped - with emotion and good writing - then this is the book for you. Although this isn't strictly a prequel, you will find many of the same characters in Rayner's novel One Moment, One Morning. (KD)

One Moment, One Morning (2010)

Three women are among the passengers on the 7.44 Brighton to London train. Karen is sitting with her husband, Simon; Lou is observing them and others around her; and Anna is in another carriage flicking through a magazine. All these women's lives converge when Simon has a sudden heart attack. With the train grinding to a halt for paramedics to work on him, Lou and Anna find themselves sharing a taxi. As the next week unfolds, Karen, a mother of two young children, has to deal with the fallout of the worst moment of her life while Lou and Anna are forced to face up to issues in their own lives. This is a beautifully written, moving story full of emotion. For those who become attached to the characters, Lou's story continues in The Two Week Wait and Karen's in Another Night, Another Day.

The Other Half (2001)

Chloe Appleton is quickly approaching the age of thirty. She is a features writer with high ambitions to one day launch a magazine of her own. She sticks out at the office with her hip quirky style and propensity to show off her ample cleavage. Maggie Slater is the conservative mother and wife who appears to have it all. She's a gorgeous food writer with an adorable son and a successful, good-looking husband. She spends her days concocting delicious recipes for her family and making sure her house looks picture perfect. James Slater, Maggie's husband, is a publisher and Chloe's new boss. Chloe and James quickly become involved. The story is told in the alternating voices of Chloe, the mistress, and Maggie, the wife. The author does a brilliant job getting into the mind of each woman. The reader will feel for Maggie as she sees her perfect life start to uncontrollably crumble. I sympathised with Chloe because she was so desperate to be loved and worked so hard to convince herself that James was doing this because he was unhappy in his marriage and really loved her. This is a brilliant novel detailing how affairs play out and ultimately explode. (AO)

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