I’m thrilled to host today’s stop on the blog tour for One Day in December by Shari Low and to bring you my review of this engaging, emotional story of one momentous day in the lives of four people.
Watch the book trailer for One Day in December: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nO5zMF4nPLs
About the Book
By the stroke of midnight, a heart would be broken, a cruel truth revealed, a devastating secret shared, and a love betrayed. Four lives would be changed forever, One Day in December. One morning in December…Caro set off on a quest to find out if her relationship with her father had been based on a lifetime of lies. Lila decided today would be the day that she told her lover’s wife of their secret affair. Cammy was on the way to pick up the ring for the surprise proposal to the woman he loved. And Bernadette vowed that this was the day she would walk away from her controlling husband of 30 years and never look back.
One day, four lives on a collision course with destiny…
Format: ebook (296 pp.), paperback (364 pp.) Publisher: Aria
Published: 1st September 2017 Genre: Contemporary Fiction
You can find Shari’s previous books here
Find One Day in December on Goodreads
The story takes place over one day in the city of Glasgow. As it turns out, it will be a momentous day in the lives of four people and those close to them. Events unfold in two-hourly time slots with frequent switches between the different characters. As the action plays out, at times the reader is blessed with more information than the character (creating some “Uh-oh, that’s not going to happen” or “I have a bad feeling about this” moments) and at other times, we learn things alongside the characters (resulting in some “I wasn’t expecting that” moments).
So, let’s get to know the characters…Caro is setting off by train to track down the father who abandoned her and her mother years before. A post on Facebook, that she came across by chance, has led Caro to suspect that her father’s frequent absences on business during the years he and her mother were together may have been cover for something else entirely. Was he in fact leading a double life? Encouraged by her cousin, Todd, she’s determined to find out the truth and confront her father before it’s too late.
Menswear shop owner Cameron, known to his friends as Cammy, is planning to propose to his girlfriend, Lila. She’s the first woman he’s fallen for since he lost the love of his life to another man. Helped by pals, Josie and Val (hilarious characters, by the way), he’s chosen the perfect ring, the perfect suit, the perfect restaurant. Now he just needs everything to go to plan.
Lila is oblivious to Cammy’s intentions. She’s more interested in snaring her married lover, cardiac surgeon Ken, who she’s been having a passionate affair with for years, unbeknownst to his wife. Lila’s determined that today’s the day Ken will tell his wife he’s leaving her – and if not, Lila’s going to do it for him.
Bernadette knows all about leaving because after thirty years of marriage to Ken – yes, that same Ken – she’s had enough of his callous, controlling behaviour and she’s planning her departure for life as a free woman. But if she’s to make her escape, she needs to do it before Ken returns home.
The author manages the incredible feat of orchestrating the various strands of the plot and frequent changes in points of views so you never lose track of the story as the tension builds. I really liked the geographical near misses during the day as characters unknowingly pass close to each other – in shops, restaurants and streets. I found myself particularly drawn to Caro and Bernadette. They seemed fully realised characters; like people you might meet in real life. I don’t believe anyone with an ounce of humanity can read this book without rooting for Bernadette and I liked how the author had Caro grow as a character, even with the period of one day.
Other characters seemed a little less finely drawn and Ken, in particular, felt a little like pantomime villain. The men in this book aren’t a terribly good advertisement for fatherhood! Although I couldn’t like Lila – self-obsessed, shallow and mercenary – I could admire her spirit and her ability to land on her feet (metaphorically only, as it turns out).
Even if I wasn’t totally engaged by all the characters, I was completely gripped by the complex threads of the story and intrigued to see how the author was going to pull everything together. Safe to say, she succeeded brilliantly. I’ll also admit I shed tears at one point and I’m not usually a sentimental person. I can now see why Shari Low’s books are so popular. Great storylines, clever plotting and engaging characters make One Day in December a very satisfying read.
I received an advance reader copy courtesy of publishers, Aria, in return for an honest review.
In three words: Emotional, engaging, moving
Try something similar…It Was Only Ever You by Kate Kerrigan (click here to read my review)
About the Author
Shari lives in Glasgow and writes a weekly opinion column and Book Club page for a well-known newspaper. She is married to a very laid-back guy and has two athletic teenage sons, who think she’s fairly embarrassing, except when they need a lift.
Connect with Shari