Sarah Rayner’s novel, One Moment, One Morning chief protagonist was Karen whose husband died suddenly on a train one morning. I was drawn into this story and sympathised greatly with Karen in her loss so I was thrilled to find out that Karen was one of the main characters in Another Night, Another Day.
In this book, also set in Brighton, she is attending Moreland’s Psychiatric Clinic and we are introduced to a wider cast of characters who are all at the clinic for mental health issues. Alongside Karen we follow Michael and Abby’s stories as they are all treated at the clinic.
This is a sympathetically written book which opens with two therapists at Moreland’s discussing the death of the patient. From then on each chapter focusses on each of the character’s lives, starting with their lives prior to entering the clinic. We see Michael struggling financially whilst hiding the details from his family, Karen trying to support her mother with her father’s illness and Abby who is overwhelmed with the imminent separation from her husband and who faces daily disapproval from others when out with her son, Callum, who is autistic.
The most interesting section of the book for me was the part set in the clinic where the reader gets an insight into the techniques used by the therapists to help the patients. At this point we are introduced to more of the patients, notably, Lilli a TV star, Colin and Rita with the interaction between the patients uplifting what could have been quite a depressing read.
Although I think many people are much more sympathetic than in previous times, to those suffering from mental health issues, this still needs improving and if a book like this can give others an insight into the different ways these illnesses affect sufferers then that can only be a good thing. I think the author managed to stay just about on the right side of the line between informing and preaching about the issues and the state of the NHS, although anyone who has a family member entering a NHS unit would be concerned reading the contrast between the cosy atmosphere in Moreland’s and the far more dangerous one in the NHS hospital.
This isn’t a plot or character driven book, it is more of a fictional accounts of problems that are suffered by many along with the wider families and because of this the pace is quite sedate despite the amount of issues covered. Despite that it is a very readable book which had me rooting for each and every one of the characters.
I’d like to thank the publishers Pan Macmillan for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for this honest review ahead of the publication date of 17 July 2014.