Published by William Morrow on June 11, 2019
Source: the publisher
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International bestselling author Susan Lewis’ riveting, unforgettable novel of a woman whose life changes in an instant and the handsome young man with whom she shares a secret history—perfect for readers of Diane Chamberlain, Jodi Picoult and Susan Wiggs.
How well do you know the people you love? For one young woman returning to the past, the answer could be heart-shattering…
Vivi Shager is living her dream. Raised with drive and ambition by a resolutely single mother, Vivi has a thriving law career, a gorgeous apartment in London, and a full calendar that keeps her busy at work and at play. Then on the day of her twenty-seventh birthday, an undiagnosed heart condition sends Vivi’s prospects for the future into a tailspin. After escaping her roots nearly a decade ago, she’s forced to return to her childhood home to be cared for by her devoted and enigmatic mother. Vivi has always known the woman is hiding something and now she’s determined to find out what it is. Though her condition makes her fragile and vulnerable and she’s afraid of what may happen, her spirit remains strong. Then comes an unexpected ray of light.
Josh Raynor, a local veterinarian who his sisters claim is too handsome for his own good, brings a forbidden love to Vivi’s world. Josh and Vivi are soon inseparable, unaware of the past their families share. All Vivi knows is that Josh is wrestling with a demon of his own…
Then quite suddenly the awful truth is staring Vivi in the face and it changes everything.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
One Minute Later by Susan Lewis had my emotions all over the place. Questions kept popping up while I was reading and I absolutely had to know the answers to them all. I don’t want to spoil anything at all for anyone, so I’m going to be a little bit vague in this review. Please just go with it because it is so, so good when you find out everything as it unfolds!
There are two storylines that are prominent while you read but it is clear from the beginning that the biggest is the present-day story revolving around Vivienne and her need for a heart transplant. At only 27 years old, she suffers a massive coronary event early in the book that was so scary to read. At the time of this health scare, Vivienne’s life is uprooted and she becomes dependent on her family for help in her everyday life; she returns to her childhood home to live with her mother, where she is surrounded by family and friends. The story plays out in an alternating-POV structure that builds and builds (and ultimately ended up slapping me in the face more than once).
The other POV is Shelley and her story is from the 1980’s. She and her husband, Jack, are raising three children on a farm. Shelley’s family has a rough go of it over the years, with several set-backs and some big heartache. It took me longer than I anticipated to figure out how her story would really, truly connect with Vivienne’s but when I figured it out, so much clicked into place.
This is just a well-written, captivating story. These characters are likable and interesting, and I was invested in both timelines and what everyone was doing at all times. It’s true that the medical stuff surrounding heart transplant is a large portion of the story, and it is really a lot in a couple of places. But just when I would think that it was getting a bit heavy, some major thing would happen that would absolutely glue me to the pages–especially as I got closer and closer to the end. I love how the author connected everything and everyone so well. And there was some mystery and suspense thrown in there, which I loved.
What I think I appreciate most here is that it was really eye-opening for me to try to put myself into Vivienne’s place throughout the story…and in Shelley’s place. How different would life be for me, if I was living it like one of these women? It would be profoundly different. I felt so much while I was reading, and I think that is what made me connect so deeply with the characters and the overall story in general. It’s very good.