One Moment by Becky Hunter

I’m absolutely thrilled to help start off the blog tour for One Moment by Becky Hunter. I would like to thank Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to participate. I’m also hugely grateful to Becky for sending me an early copy of One Moment all those months ago and for agreeing to stay in with me today. I’ll be sharing my review of One Moment after our chat, but first, let’s find out what Becky told me:

Staying in with Becky Hunter

Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag Becky and thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.

Thank you for having me!

It’s my pleasure. I rather think I know, but tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?

My debut novel is called One Moment, and I’m so excited that it’s now out!

Happy publication day Becky. I’m looking forward to helping you celebrate later!

As a debut, it’s obviously a novel that’s very close to my heart – I had a few ‘near misses’ along the way to getting published, books that I wrote but just didn’t get a cut, so I think One Moment feels extra special because of that – this is the novel that means I can call myself a writer!

Having read (or rather, devoured) One Moment, you can certainly call yourself a writer!

For those who’ve yet to read it, what can we expect from an evening in with One Moment

When I was writing, I really wanted to celebrate female friendship – that kind of friendship that runs so deep, it’s built into the foundations of who you are. So I hope that comes across – I think female friendship, the positive, uplifting kind, is having a bit of a ‘moment’ at the moment. Jojo Moyes’ new book Someone Else’s Shoes is all about how life-changing a good female friend can be, and the brilliant We All Want Impossible Things by Catherine Newman is about that friend who you are so close to, you’re almost like sisters. Both novels are so good, and I’m not claiming that mine is on a par, but I love that there are lots of novels that are championing female friendship at the moment.

I adored the friendship between Scarlett and Evie. 

In terms of the reading experience… It’s no secret that one of the protagonists dies at the beginning of the novel, so it is sad in places – but I hope it’s ultimately uplifting. That was the intention, anyway! It’s really nerve-wracking waiting to hear what readers will think of it, and I obsess a bit about the early reviews and go through phases of thinking I can’t write… BUT I’ve been lucky enough to have some wonderful early reviews, and I suppose that the nice things they’ve said is what I hope the reading experience will be!

This stunning debut explores grief, love and friendship in a beautiful and original way – a powerful read full of both moving and joyful moments – MY WEEKLY

Sharp, funny, tear-jerking, so assured and well observed. What a debut! — ELizabeth Buchan

‘Completely involving. An emotional read about love and trust, with an OMG ending — Jill Mansell

A warm and thoughtful novel that skewers friendship, loss and negotiating grief in a touching and relatable way. I was completely caught up in Evie and Scarlett’s stories. — Fanny Blake

A thought-provoking and moving novel about loss, love, and the unique and life-affirming power of friendship. Poignant yet unwaveringly hopefulOne Moment is a fresh look at how grief can not only break us, but put us back together again. An unmissable debut. ― Holly Miller

You must be utterly delighted with those responses Becky!

What else have you brought along and why have you brought it?

When I was writing the book, I thought about one of my own friends, Sophie Christopher, who died when she was only 28. She worked in publishing, and was one of the best friends you could hope for – she was warm, funny, positive, clever. A total champion of other people and someone who made you a better person, just by being near her. She died nearly four years ago now and I still carry around a photobooth line of photos of the two of us in my purse. It is a photo from a summer party and we are being silly – I’m wearing a pink wig and we are making faces at the camera. But it makes me smile, to look at it, even if I still feel sad, and still miss her whenever I think about her. Like Evie will always miss Scarlett in the book, but is a better person because she knew her, I feel the same about Sophie – so it’s right that she’s here with me.

Oh! That’s brought a lump to my throat. I remember the shock of Sophie’s death so clearly. I think she’d be so proud of what you’ve achieved Becky. 

On a more uplifting note, very early proofs of One Moment were sent out with biscuits and a sparkling reusable coffee cup. In the book, Evie buys Scarlett a ridiculous sparkly coffee cup that says BRING ON THE SPARKLE, which she hates initially, and then grows to love because it makes her smile and think of Evie. The morning that Scarlett dies, she has this coffee cup with her, so it has significance… So the biscuits and coffee cup are sitting next to me!

I have to say my biscuits didn’t last terribly long…

I also love to read with a glass of wine – so brining along a cold, crisp Sauvignon! Although as I’m celebrating my debut novel, maybe it should be champagne…

It should most definitely be champagne Becky! And of the kind tasted in One Moment. Thanks so much for staying in with me. I loved hearing about One Moment and I’ll share my review in one moment (see what I did there?) but first, let me give readers a few more details:

One Moment

One moment in time can change everything…

The day Scarlett dies should have been one of the most important of her life. It doesn’t feel fair that she’ll never have the chance to fulfil her dreams. And now, she’s still … here – wherever here is – watching the ripple effect of her death on the lives of those she loved the most.

Evie cannot contemplate her life without Scarlett, and she certainly cannot forgive Nate, the man she blames for her best friend’s death. But Nate keeps popping up when she least expects him to, catapulting Evie’s life in directions she’d never let herself imagine possible. Ways, perhaps, even those closest to her had long since given up on.

If you could go back, knowing everything that happens after, everything that happens because of that one moment in time, would you change the course of history or would you do it all again?

Published by Atlantic imprint Corvus today, 2nd March 2023, One Moment is available for purchase through the links here.

My Review of One Moment

Scarlett’s death is just the beginning.

One Moment is fabulous and everyone should buy a copy immediately.

That’s it. That’s the review! Mind you, I suppose I ought to say why I feel this way.

The plot in One Moment is constructed so engagingly; especially through the deceased Scarlett’s first person narrative, because it feels fresh and innovative whilst being so perceptive, educational and compelling. Evie’s story is just wonderful too as she comes to terms with what is happening in her life. I don’t want to spoil the story by saying too much more, but this thread is completely convincing. Indeed, Becky Hunter deals with some challenging and profound themes in One Moment, all of which feel assiduously researched and accessibly presented so that the reader gains real understanding of the characters. I loved the fairly small cast list too as it enabled me to get to know Evie and Scarlett intimately. These are not two dimensional characters, but warm, flawed, human beings whose friendship is at the heat of the novel and whom I came to love unconditionally. I was pretty fond of Astrid and Nate too!

What is so effective and so affecting is the consideration of ‘what if?’ in One Moment. What if we had our time over again? What if we had made a slightly different decision at any point in life? What if we replied to a text or answered a call? Said what we really meant? Had a different job? Becky Hunter explores with sensitive and humane skill the futility of regret and the way we can move on in spite of everything. She illustrates so accurately the way life is there for the taking – without hurting others along the way. She also shows how we make assumptions about others and define them in ways that might not be fair but perhaps can influence how they see themselves both positively and negatively. I thought this aspect was so beautifully handled. One Moment may deal with the deepest grief and with negative emotions like sadness, anger and regret, but it leaves the reader feeling uplifted, engaged and connected to the very essence of who they are themselves as people. There may be sadness in this story, but there’s joy, happiness, connection and pleasure too.

In One Moment, Becky Hunter has distilled love, friendship, grief and hope into diamond bright perfection that touches the reader’s soul because the story is emotional, funny, realistic and totally absorbing. I absolutely adored One Moment because whilst it absorbed me completely and entertained me totally, it also made me laugh and made me cry. I found it simply glorious and it has gone straight on my list of books of the year. Whatever you do, don’t miss this one!

About Becky Hunter

Becky grew up in Berkshire, UK, and has loved reading since before she can remember. After studying social sciences at Cambridge university, this love of reading led her to a career in publishing, where she worked as a book publicist in London for several years before taking a career break and moving to Mozambique to volunteer with horses. It was here that she decided to give writing a proper go, though it was still a few years, a few more destinations, and a couple more jobs before she had the idea that would become One Moment, her debut novel.

She currently splits her time between London, Bristol and Falmouth, and works as a freelance book publicist and editor, alongside her own writing.

For more information, follow Becky on Twitter @Bookish_Becky or find her on Instagram.

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