Three people, each crying out for help . . . There’s Karen, worried about her dying father; Abby, whose son has autism and needs constant care; and Michael, a family man on the verge of bankruptcy. As each sinks under the strain, they’re brought together at Moreland’s Clinic. Here, behind closed doors, they reveal their deepest secrets, confront and console one another and share plenty of laughs. But how will they cope when a new crisis strikes?
Another Night, Another Day – to be published by Picador in the UK on 17 July – is the third novel by Sarah Rayner featuring her Brighton-based characters. If you haven’t read the other two, don’t worry – these are companion novels rather than sequels, and some of the same characters feature in each. The first was One Moment, One Morning, the first time we meet Karen, Anna and Lou, whose lives were changed for ever by a dramatic incident on a train. The central themes of that book were death, grief, alcoholism and sexuality, but it’s not mawkish, sentimental or difficult to read in any way. Really different and cleverly done, and with a satisfying ending – loved it. Next came The Two Week Wait, taking their lives in a totally different direction, dealing with the agony of women who want a family above all else.
|And now we have Another Night, Another Day, which sees Karen moving to centre stage together with a number of other new key characters. This book is very realistic in its depiction of the way in which no-one is immune from the trials and tribulations of life and the effect they can have on mental health. After the initial scene-setting – a look at the stresses and strains affecting the main characters and watching their lives fall apart – much of the book is set inside a mental health facility. Now this might not sound like a barrel of laughs, but – as in her earlier books – the author has a really sure touch with a difficult subject, the lightness and humour always appropriately handled. The book as a whole balances the journeys to recovery of the main characters with a very realistic depiction of the handling of anxiety and depression in private and state care.
Although this is a work of fiction, I learned quite a lot about the realities of psychiatric care – where patients characterise themselves as mad, bad or sad – and I found the whole thing absolutely engrossing. I’d highly recommend it to anyone who’d like to find out more about the wider subject, but I’d also recommend it to anyone who enjoys strong character driven drama with characters drawn from real life, and with whom you develop very strong links and immense sympathy as the story progresses. It’s very moving, sad and funny, and I’m really pleased to have had the opportunity to be an early reader.
My thanks to netgalley and publishers Pan Macmillan/Picador for my advance reading e-copy.
Another Night, Another Day is officially published on 17 July, but Picador are doing an exclusive in May with Waterstones book shop which ties in with Mental Health Awareness week. The launch event will be in Brighton on Thursday 15th May,when Sarah will be chatting with her editor Francesca Main about the book, as well as taking questions from the floor and signing copies – only £3 to attend, with £1 donated to mental health charity MIND. Three further events are lined up at Richmond on 22 May, Hampstead on 10th June and Leeds on 12th June (I’m hoping to get to that one!). For more details, see the Waterstones event pages.
Most readers today know Sarah Rayner from her bestselling novel, One Moment, One Morning, which has sold over 250,000 copies in the UK, and is currently being translated into 11 languages. But before that she published two rather different novels – The Other Half (Orion 2001) and Getting Even (2002), and these have been fully revised and updated by the author and just republished by Picador as ebooks.
You can find Sarah’s website at thecreativepumpkin.com and it always makes her day to hear from from her readers.