17.9.19

BLOG TOUR: One Day in Winter by Shari Low

On a cold December’s morning…
Caro sets off to find the truth: has her relationship with her father been based on a lifetime of lies?
Cammy can’t wait to surprise the woman he loves with a proposal. All he needs is the perfect ring. 
Lila can no longer hide her secret. She has to tell her lover’s wife about their affair. 
After thirty years, Bernadette knows it’s time. She’s ready to leave her controlling husband…And  never look back.Over the course of twenty-four hours, four lives are about to change forever…

Head of Zeus, 449

One Day in Winter by Shari Low was a hugely enjoyable read. Set just before Christmas, it is perfect to read at this time of year as the night’s begin to draw in and you want to settle down with something cosy. 
I was surprised to see a list of characters at the beginning of the book and a little worried that I wouldn’t keep track of them all but I needn’t have been concerned. There are a fair few characters in this book but I soon got to know who they were and the ways in which they were connected to each other. 
Caro and Lila are the central female characters and they could not be more different. Lila likes to be the centre of attention and lives her life through her glamorous (and photoshopped) Instagram pictures. She has been with Cammy for a little while and is happy to keep that relationship ticking over whilst she secures her future with the married man she has been seeing behind his back. Caro on the other hand is caring and kind, she has been taking care of her sick mother whilst also searching for the father who walked out on them both years ago. Some careful internet research leads her to believe that he may have been leading a double life with another family, if she can find him then it is confrontation time. 
Cammy is the beleaguered boyfriend of Lila; his closest friends have been warning him off her but he is sure she is the one and that it is time to pop the question. He has been in love in the past and his relationship with Lila feels completely different  but he is sure he has made the right decision to ask her to be his wife. 
Bernadette has been married to surgeon Kenneth (Lila’s man on the side) for many miserable years. He has made her life hell with his controlling behaviour and constant put-downs. She has always stayed as she wanted her two children to have a father-figure plus they know nothing of his treatment of her. However, her children are now grown up and Bernadette cannot take it any longer so she makes a secret plan to leave him for good. But she has no idea that Kenneth has a secret himself in the form of a spoilt Instagram princess who he has been seeing on the side. 
The book is set over 24 hours which is a great device as it means the story maintains good pace and momentum. It is split into parts spanning 2 hours at a time so each time I reached the end I wanted to continue to the next part to see what would happen next. Each individual chapter is told from either Caro, Lila, Cammy or Bernadette’s point of view, I loved getting to know each of them plus seeing how they would react once they discovered the truth about each other. Bernadette was my favourite from the very beginning, I was willing her to leave Kenneth and the horrible life she was leading. I felt that Shari Low explored the subject of psychological abuse so well, we quickly build up a picture of how Kenneth has slowly chipped away at his wife, taking her confidence and enjoyment of life. It goes some way to explaining why she has stayed for so long.
I could not stand Lila, she is selfish and ruthless; she doesn't care about Cammy even though she is fully aware of his feelings for her. Low uses this character to look at social media and the way in which someone is able to present their life in a certain way rather than the reality. Lila cares more about her social media following rather than the real people in her every

day life. 
One Day in Winter was witty, entertaining but also contained enough to make me think. It is not a full on festive read but would be a good book in the run up to Winter. I enjoyed the plot and characters and I was particularly taken with the way in which the whole book took place in 24 hours. This is one I can highly recommend.

Many thanks to Head of Zeus for gifting me a copy to review, it is out now! 

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