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This was a sad and beautiful story. I loved the perspective of Finn who hovered between life and death and gave her perspective on events and people. I also liked the author’s personal story at the end. It will really make me think twice with leaving my kids in others hands.
Do you ever wonder how you would behave in a time of danger? Would you think of others or just concentrate on your own survival? And if you have lost someone you love, do your memories of them make you sad? Or do you laugh out loud when you remember who they were? This story reminds me to talk about those who are no longer with me but not with sadness - with happiness - because their presence in my life would’ve brought me much happiness.
Interesting viewpoint to the storyline...taken from a fly on the wall perspective. I found this story made me think a lot about what my choices would have been if in I was in the same situation. Not necessarily a happy story, but not wholly sad either. Read it...you may get to know yourself better!
Loved this book, it reminded me of The Lovely Bones...a death and then the dead person becomes the narrator. Relationships are handled well, great insight into trauma after an accident. It was sad but also uplifting.
'In an Instant' is a story about one person's unique observations of the various actions and reactions of family (and others) following a life changing, dreadful accident. The observer is sixteen year old Finn, as she oversees and processes the various human emotions that follow the tragedy, including: survival, guilt, bereavement and reconciliation.
The author's approach to telling the narrative (and I won't give too much away) is very moving, as we readers also experience what Finn sees and feels, along with her own sense of helplessness. Through Finn, we witness the unpacking of this deeply character-based plot and the unfolding of the stages of grief, as well as secrets and revelations.
Given the insightful writing, I wasn't surprised to find that author, Suzanne Redfearn, had experienced a similar circumstance as a younger person. In turn, that experience inspired her to write 'In an Instant'.
I'm not sure if the book will be appreciated by everyone, as it is frankly, very sad, but it's also touching, heartfelt and well-written.
This was so close to what happened to me when I was 16 on a school excursion overseas. On a wet and stormy night the bus we were on skidded off the winding road, rolled down a cliff, landing upside down in a river. I was thrown out of the bus as it rolled down the embankment suffering injuries and concussion. I made my way down to the river and helped aid people as they were rescued from the upside down submerged bus. Then I made my way with some of the others, up the cliff to get help. Three people, two of them students, died that night and many of the others, including teachers, were badly injured. I returned home, attended funerals, sought medical attention for the glass embedded throughout my body and went back to school for my final year exams- without any help, counselling or much support, apart from family and friends, it was as if it never happened in some ways Although this all happened to me over 40 years ago, I can still remember it vividly and this book brought it all back again in an instant. I couldn’t stop reading and despite the story being different, I could relate to it so much. The drunk bus diver (I didn’t learn this until later), the fear, the sadness, the depth of my feelings and the sheer resilience I found in myself to continue on, to make the most of my life, to live boldly and use it as a positive rather than dwell on the negatives. A friend read this book, and knowing some of my story, she said it made her think of me at the time. I was in two minds about reading it but I’m so glad I did. I copied so many of the quotes as they could have related to my story. I didn’t write about this accident until a few years and this has helped me too.
Brilliantly written, such a sad and awful tragedy for everyone involved but beautifully told with some humour, mainly from Finn, (it isn’t unremittingly bleak) and with such a depth of feeling. Ultimately, the tragedy and it’s aftermath can’t be undone, everyone is altered in some way but light does begin to shine and some good things do eventually start happen. I read this book over the weekend, it is now Monday and I can’t stop thinking about it - that’s never happened before! I haven’t mentioned the plot as you can read that in the book description and in other reviews, but I I highly recommend that you read this book.
I really enjoyed this book, I read it until I fell asleep and carried on with it as soon as I woke up. It hooked me in very quickly. The story seems quite straightforward but soon becomes deeper. A family go to their cabin in the mountains for a weekend. Mum, dad, daughter and boyfriend, other daughter and her best friend, son with special needs and even the family dog. Plus their best friends with their own daughter. But what starts out as a fun adventure soon turns a lot darker when they crash down a cliff side in terrible weather conditions. I don't want to spoil the story, so I won't talk about the aftermath. Suffice to say, you never know how you will react in extreme circumstances. The book really is very interesting and thought provoking, with a lot of sadness mixed in. The only reason for not giving five stars is that I felt the book lost some of its depth towards the end and things got wound up a bit too neatly. But it is a worthwhile read and I shall definitely look out for other books by this author.
This novel is a tough one to read in that it covers the gamut of nearly every human emotion. Such joy and happiness as the group of 10 are packing the Miller Mobile for a 3 day trip to their cabin. Bewilderment, sadness, sorrow, and more emotions will follow as this progresses. .
The author did an excellent job in portraying each of these people ...before, during and after the incident. Some of the characters felt no remorse or regret...not even a little ...whereas others felt the guilt that survivors feel. An amazing weaving of their thoughts previously into the 'now'... Each one of the survivors reacted differently to their lives afterwards.
Finn, age 16, keeps a watchful eye on the survivors throughout and the reader will become mesmerized at her 'speeches' and thoughts. The funeral for Finn was poignant and also filled with love for her life. Love and sorrow were in great evidence in the overflowing church.
Human nature and its complexity was present throughout in the characters. There is great sadness in survival and one thing is evident to me... we really don't know one another as well as we should in life.
As Ann Miller (Mom of the family) stated 'We do not control our reactions, only our actions'...excellent, just excellent.
I will admit to getting cold when reading the beginning of this novel. I turned the heat up in the cabin but still felt the chill and the brutal cold the ones in the Miller Mobile were feeling...(Talk about an author getting into one's head!).
So glad that I selected this as my First Read for February 2020. I was not disappointed for one page...not even one.
When 16 year old Finn is on a trip away with her family and best friend, tragedy strikes leaving Finn dead in an instant. So begins our journey with Finn while she watches and hopes and waits for the others to be rescued and the devastation her death and the accident causes for everyone she loves. She sees how some are strong and silently do what it takes to survive while others are selfish and only think of themselves. Everyone will be changed forever by their actions, and lack of, in some cases. I loved everything about this book and while it was heartbreaking, it was also reviting and really makes you think. We all assume we would do the right thing and help in this situation but we don't really know and at the end of the day ,no one will look after your children like they would their own. A must read book. I highly recommend it.