Title: In an Instant (review copy)
Author: Suzanne Redfearn
Genre/Themes: Paranormal, Death, Family, Love, Grief, Human Connection
Blurb from Goodreads
A deeply moving story of carrying on even when it seems impossible.
Life is over in an instant for sixteen-year-old Finn Miller when a devastating car accident tumbles her and ten others over the side of a mountain. Suspended between worlds, she watches helplessly as those she loves struggle to survive.
Impossible choices are made, decisions that leave the survivors tormented with grief and regret. Unable to let go, Finn keeps vigil as they struggle to reclaim their shattered lives. Jack, her father, who seeks vengeance against the one person he can blame other than himself; her best friend, Mo, who bravely searches for the truth as the story of their survival is rewritten; her sister Chloe, who knows Finn lingers and yearns to join her; and her mother, Ann, who saved them all but is haunted by her decisions. Finn needs to move on, but how can she with her family still in pieces?
This was one of the most eerily compelling novels I have read in recent times. I could not put it down for a second and stayed reading it until 5.30am in the morning when I had to give in to sleep.
The novel follows the story of two families who are caught up in a serious, tragic accident high in snowy mountains and the lengths that each individual go to to survive. The book takes the ingenious idea of narrating the aftermath of the crash from sixteen year old Finn’s PoV. It’s ingenious because Finn dies in the crash and therefore she takes on an almost omniscient role and the book becomes a sort of fly-on-the-wall exposé of the crash victim’s broken lives.
This is a novel that really asks questions about what we as humans are capable of doing to each other. It dares to look at our darkest thoughts of purely self preservation and asks the reader do you know what you would do in these most bleak of moments? No one character in this book is left guilt free. They all experience shame on some level at how they survived and because they survived.
This is one of those books that really the less you know about it the better. While the prose may not be that beautiful with an awkward narrative initially, this is still definitely worth a read if you’re in the mood for a character study type novel as the most thought provoking themes truly reveal themselves after approx 1/3 the way through.
*An e-copy of this book was kindly provided to me by the publisher, Lake Union Publishing, via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*