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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

In An Instant

In an Instant

ISBN: 1542006589

Publication Date: 03/01/2020

Publisher: Lake Union

Format: Paperback

My Rating: 5 Stars Top Books of 2020 Author Q&A Interview A deeply moving story of carrying on even when it seems impossible. Life is over in an instant for sixteen-year-old Finn Miller when a devastating car accident tumbles her and ten others over the side of a mountain. Suspended between worlds, she watches helplessly as those she loves struggle to survive.

Impossible choices are made, decisions that leave the survivors tormented with grief and regret. Unable to let go, Finn keeps vigil as they struggle to reclaim their shattered lives. Jack, her father, who seeks vengeance against the one person he can blame other than himself; her best friend, Mo, who bravely searches for the truth as the story of their survival is rewritten; her sister Chloe, who knows Finn lingers and yearns to join her; and her mother, Ann, who saved them all but is haunted by her decisions. Finn needs to move on, but how can she with her family still in pieces?

Heartrending yet ultimately redemptive, In an Instant is a story about the power of love, the meaning of family, and carrying on…even when it seems impossible.


My Review

Check out my upcoming in-depth Q&A interview with Suzanne Redfearn “An Elevator Ride with the Author” (March 1, 2020) and get the “behind the scenes” exclusives of IN AN INSTANT, and more about this talented author.

“Heartrending and ultimately redemptive, IN AN INSTANT is a story about the power of love, the meaning of family, and carrying on…even when it seems impossible.”

In the event of a tragedy, survivors must live with the aftermath and decisions that are made “in an instant,” which is a perfect title for this poignant, emotional, heartrending, and beautifully written novel.

Told with compassion and hope, Suzanne proposes many thought-provoking questions, as well as exploring how different families and characters react accordingly. How do they move on?

A group decides to take a trip to Big Bear, California. However, what was intended as a fun winter ski getaway, turns deadly. A devastating car accident. Lives are lost. There are survivors. What happened during this tragedy? Could the outcome be different if other decisions had been made?

What would you do if you found yourself amid a life-threatening situation? What you do in a split second could haunt you forever.

We hear from Finn Miller, a sixteen-year-old who was one of the victims. She did not make it, but in the novel, she has a voice and is looking down at everyone. She is trying to resolve the lives of the aftermath. The survivors. Her family and friends. Their lives are shattered.

Can they move on? How will they survive? Some are living with guilt, and some are not. Lines are crossed, and integrity is the focus.

We hear from Jack, the father, her best friend, Mo, her sister Chloe, and her mother, Ann. Some are haunted by decisions made. Will they ultimately find peace, solace, and redemption?

First, what a stunning book cover with this beautiful snow!

I discovered this talented author years ago and the opportunity of reading— Hush Little Baby and No Ordinary Life, which I thoroughly enjoyed. If you are new to her work or have not read her previous books, highly recommend.

When I heard about IN AN INSTANT, I was very intrigued by the premise and the atmospheric setting. I had to ask myself, “what would I do if placed in the same situation?” What if?

Many thought-provoking questions and emotionally charged topics.

What If ?

What would you do in a moment of crisis?

What if you had children of yours and others under your care? You are responsible.

How well do you trust others to care for your children? Your split-second decision amid a tragedy could change the lives of many, as well as your own.

What about a stranger? Would you treat them differently? What about your moral integrity? Crossing moral lines. What if you were tested?

Redfearn deftly explores those split-second decisions that can alter our destinies. A timely book, especially in our world of school shootings, airplane and car accidents, and acts of violence where we may have children under our care. There may come a time you have to step in and act quickly. An emergency or a critical situation at any given time. How will you react "in an instant?"

How do you choose which person to help first? It could be a car accident with friends or family or even a stranger on the street. It will make you stop and think.

If you enjoy authors, Jodi Picoult, Heather Gudenkauf, and Kristin Hannah (three of my favorites), you will love Suzanne’s lyrical prose and character-driven, IN AN INSTANT. Sure, to please fans of Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones. An ideal choice for book clubs and further discussions.

A special thank you to Lake Union, the author, and NetGalley for an early reading copy. Readers, you can read this one before March 1! Choose this gripping novel as your Amazon First Reads selection for February.



“Suzanne Redfearn’s latest is a wonder. A thoughtful exploration of life, death, and the world in between, In an Instant is a powerful and poignant read.” —Mary Kubica, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

“In an Instant begins as an action-packed tale of survival that is positively addictive; then it digs deep into an emotional and thought-provoking exploration of our humanity and what it means to make difficult moral choices in the most harrowing of circumstances. Redfearn tackles it all brilliantly and compassionately in this mesmerizing and wondrous novel. It’s a triumph on every level, and I absolutely loved it.”

—USA Today bestselling author Julianne MacLean

“When a sudden car accident shatters a family, they’re left to pick up the pieces while trying to solve the mystery of just what happened that night. Redfearn deftly pivots from character to character in this multiple-points-of-view narrative, unraveling the past and weaving together a new future for the family. In an Instant is sure to please fans of The Lovely Bones and Big Little Lies.” —Catherine McKenzie, bestselling author of The Good Liar and Hidden

“Suzanne Redfearn’s In an Instant is part ghost story, part love letter to a family in crisis after a devastating accident in the midst of a brutal snowstorm. This cleverly crafted novel chronicles a heartbreaking journey from grief and despair to one of acceptance, forgiveness, and ultimately hope. Through Redfearn’s luminous prose, In an Instant succeeds in building an unforgettable portrait of human frailty and strength in the face of unfathomable loss.”

—Heather Gudenkauf, New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence and Before She Was Found

“In an Instant is a triumph! When tragedy strikes, two families are thrown into chaos as the lines of morality are blurred. Redfearn handles a family’s shock and grief with the perfect balance of empathy and hope and will have you contemplating what really lies underneath the shiny veneer of those closest to you. Make In an Instant your first read of 2020.” —Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke, bestselling authors of Girls’ Night Out

“Breathtaking, compelling, heart stopping, and original. An utter page turner—I couldn’t put the book down. I highly recommend this unforgettable story. Kudos to Suzanne Redfearn.” —Jane Porter, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author

“Told in gripping prose, In an Instant is both an addictive, suspenseful read and a thoughtful exploration of what each of us would do in a time of intense trauma. Redfearn’s characters are so real and the plot so mesmerizing I couldn’t think about anything else. A must for book clubs!” —Anita Hughes, author of Rome in Love and Christmas in Vermont

“Suzanne Redfearn’s latest, In an Instant, is a captivating, heartbreaking, but ultimately uplifting novel about a family’s devastating tragedy and its aftermath. Reminiscent of The Lovely Bones, the story is told by sixteen-year-old Finn, who struggles to find closure for herself while watching her loved ones do the same. Redfearn deftly explores those split-second decisions that can alter our destinies and the guilt we hold on to, despite our need to let go. In an Instant reminds us what it is to be human—vulnerable, fallible, and also resilient and triumphant when we face our challenges with unity and love.” —Janis Thomas, bestselling author of What Remains True and All That’s Left of Me

“In the wake of a tragic car accident, the survivors are forced to make unimaginable choices in desperation to survive, spiraling into a heart-wrenching journey to live with those same choices afterward, forever haunting the ones they love and perceptions of self. Told through the perspective of a teenage girl whose life is cut short—her desperation to be alive and connected to her family is a reminder of how fragile the things we take for granted truly are. Suzanne Redfearn’s In an Instant will make you thankful for every breath you take.” —Kristin Fields, author of A Lily in the Light

Interview with Suzanne Redfearn

Q&A with the Author

Mar 1, 2020


About the Author

Suzanne Redfearn

Suzanne is the award-winning author of three novels: Hush Little Baby, No Ordinary Life, and In An Instant.

Born and raised on the east coast, Suzanne moved to California when she was fifteen. She currently lives in Laguna Beach with her husband where they own two restaurants: Lumberyard and Slice Pizza & Beer.

In addition to being an author, Suzanne is an architect specializing in residential and commercial design. When not writing, Suzanne enjoys doing anything and everything with her family—skiing, golf, tennis, surfing, hiking, board games, and watching reality TV. She is an avid baseball fan. Her team is the Angels. Read More






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