Review of Four Minutes to Save a Life

Reflections and review by Betanda Shanam!

How often do we reach out to other people? What differences do we make in someone else’s life in four minutes? These were the questions I asked myself whilst on a short break on the East coast of England with my dogs. These questions were provoked by the book Four Minutes to Save a Life by Anna Stuart as well as an encounter in the local post office which made me realise how often we say or do something that we don’t necessary think anything of, but for the person on the receiving end of the comment or act, it can change an aspect of their life.

While waiting to purchase a paper, an elderly gentleman was in front of me being served by the post office lady, who seemed a few years younger. From their conversation it became clear that the gentleman was a frequent visitor. I suspected he lives in the small coastal village. Whilst I waited to be served and for them to finish their conversation, I read the front of the paper that I was holding. They spoke about events in the village. Whilst looking at the paper and listening to their conversation I thought what a lifeline this local post office must be to not just this gentleman but many others in the village. I wasn’t in a rush to be served.

All of a sudden, the gentleman asked the lady if she fancied joining him for lunch one day. I looked up from the paper I was holding, my interest in their conversation grew.  She did not delay in giving her reply and gave a clear “yes.” Her face and eyes brightened. They both chatted about how lovely it would be to have something to look forward to.  I realised that sometimes we think we are doing others a service but it often turns out to be the other way around.

I came away from the post office feeling happy to have witnessed the birth of a new friendship. I might not have thought too much of it had I not being reading Four Minutes to Save a Life. We interact with a number of people most days and each interaction has the potential of changing an aspect of both lives.

Four Minutes to Save a Life

Anna Stuart

February 20, 2020


Blurb: There’s always time to help out a stranger…isn’t there?

Supermarket delivery driver Charlie enjoys his new job, because he doesn’t have to spend too long with people, who, he’s found, are nothing but trouble. But when he’s assigned the Hope Row street, he realises there are a lot of lonely people out there – and for some, he’s their only interaction.

The supermarket boss tells Charlie he’s a driver, not a social worker – but Charlie can’t abandon the Hope Row residents and he sets about trying to draw them out of their shells and back into the world. But will his helping hand make everything worse?

‘I adored this feel good book’ Netgalley reviewer
‘A book about hope, forgiveness, love and friendship that will touch your heart’ Netgalley reviewer
‘I couldn’t love this book anymore if I tried!’ Netgalley reviewer

An uplifting novel about community, friends and finding your way. Perfect for fans of Jenny Colgan, Ruth Hogan and Carole Matthews.

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Betanda Shanam’s Review

Four Minutes to Save a Life is an inspirational read. It may have taken me a couple of chapters to get into this book, but what a treat! I found it well worth persevering with.  It provoked deep thought that made me consider how I can take more chances in my life. The plot builds then explodes during what should be a new beginning, perfect, and reflects real life drama.

 ‘What a fuss,’ he said, rubbing at his eye. ‘I did nothing much. After all, I only had four minutes.’

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review

8 thoughts on “Review of Four Minutes to Save a Life

    1. Thank you Maggie, if you read Four minutes to save a life let me know what you think. I enjoy witnessing the interaction between people, you can learn so much!
      I would like to think the couple in the post office had a good lunch date and have found a new friendship that brings them lightness and happiness. If there is a gap in our live’s we should all take that risk of finding new friendships.

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