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In an Instant by [Suzanne Redfearn]
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4.6 out of 5 stars 22,432 ratings

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From the Editor

Perfect for fans of The Lovely Bones, this poignant story of loss, survival, forgiveness, and redemption has all the feels, and then some. But the strongest feeling of all is hope.

After a tragic accident sends a van of eleven people over the side of a cliff in a snowstorm, sixteen-year-old Finn’s too-short life ends abruptly. Lingering between this world and the next, she watches as her family and friends struggle to survive, and following the rescue, how they then struggle to live with decisions they made in a life-or-death situation.

Redfearn’s beautifully authentic character development completely won me over. Finn is bursting with life and energy and infectious faith. She wants so badly for her family and friends to be OK, and for her memory to be a happy one—and as a reader, I needed those things desperately as well. I turned each page with my heart in my throat, finding myself cycling through intense feelings of grief, then anger, then joy, then sadness, and finally hope.

Hope that the world is in fact a good place, and that even though people make bad choices, ultimately most of us are good too. Hope that there is forgiveness and connection to be found if only we are willing to seek them. Hope that even though life (and this story) aren’t tied up neatly with a pretty bow, closure and peace and second chances are possible.

- Alicia Clancy, Editor

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Editorial Reviews


A 2020 Goodreads Choice Awards Semifinalist: Best Fiction

“The characters are sensitively portrayed, as is their recovery, and the hopeful ending is realistic. Readers of domestic dramas will be enthralled.” Booklist

“Suzanne Redfearn’s In an Instant (2019) is a remarkable book, which manages to be fast-paced and easily accessible to the casual reader, yet deeply satisfying and perceptive, providing insight into the nature of grief and loss…” The Albuquerque Journal

“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

About the Author

Suzanne Redfearn is the award-winning author of three novels: Hush Little Baby, No Ordinary Life, and In an Instant. In addition to being an author, she’s also an architect specializing in residential and commercial design. She lives in Laguna Beach, California, where she and her husband own two restaurants: Lumberyard and Slice Pizza and Beer. You can find her at her website,, on Facebook at SuzanneRedfearnAuthor, or on Twitter @SuzanneRedfearn.

Product details

  • ASIN : B07NVD1276
  • Publisher : Lake Union Publishing (March 1, 2020)
  • Publication date : March 1, 2020
  • Language : English
  • File size : 4637 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Enabled
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 326 pages
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.6 out of 5 stars 22,432 ratings

Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5
22,432 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on February 1, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on March 1, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on February 1, 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars Young Adult/Womens Fiction- Family Torn Apart
By Paper paige on February 1, 2020
The chapters are short and there are a total of 94 chapters. The first 14% (ch.1-5) of the story were days leading up to their trip before the accident occurs. When the accident hit, it really picked up. I couldn't read fast enough. There is a huge "omg" moment that happens while they are fighting for survival. I was astounded, angry, and my jaw dropped when this happened.

At 38 % the rescue is complete but not all survive. (Meaning only 14-38% or ch. 6-35 of the novel was their survival story, the rest is what happens after they get back home.) From this point on the family is drowning in blame, grief, and hate. Guilt radiates the life and relationships of those who survived and a secret is kept about that fateful night. This is the bulk of the story, so for most of the book it is not very happy.

Paranormal aspect- The narrator is dead and narrates all of the story for the family/characters. Included a photo so you can see what I mean. She watches them while lingering in limbo. Towards the end this narration style got repetitive.

There is some minor mundane stuff that happens like watching baseball games, rescuing help them cope with their grief. There are hard parts to read, but there are also some cheesy parts. Definitely would classify this as a young adult novel.

There is cussing and sex, but not the sexy details.
The ending Author's Note is a must read which explains the real story that inspired this fictional novel.
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376 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on February 1, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on February 12, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

5.0 out of 5 stars Heartbreaking but I wouldn’t have missed this book for the world
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 3, 2020
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29 people found this helpful
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving story of loss, love, relationships and difficult choices during and after a traumatic event.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 1, 2020
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18 people found this helpful
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Lynda Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars Sooooooooooperb !!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 5, 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 3, 2020
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7 people found this helpful
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Sara Oxo
5.0 out of 5 stars In an Instant by Suzanne Redfearn a five-star read that will transport you
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 23, 2020
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