Review of All About Us

A review from Betanda!

All About Us

Tom Ellen

August 20, 2020

HarperCollins Publishers


One moment in time can change your life forever…

Ben’s always loved the month of December, but with his marriage to Daphne on the rocks, this year it’s missing its usual magic. So when his old flame Alice gets back in touch, Ben can’t help wonder: did he make the right choice all those years ago?

Yet everything changes one night when a twinkly-eyed stranger sells Ben a mysterious watch, the hands frozen at one minute to midnight. Opening his eyes the next morning, Ben is astonished to find that he has been catapulted back to 5th December 2005: the day he first kissed Daphne, leaving Alice behind.

Now Ben must make the biggest decision of his life, all over again. But this time around, will he finally find the courage to follow his heart?

All About Us is a deeply moving novel about love, loss and heartbreak – and how, with the help of a little magic, it’s never too late to find the one you’ve been searching for.

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Betanda Shanam’s Review

What if? If only. I should have. I shouldn’t have. If I could turn back time. These are questions we all ask ourselves at one time or another. This week I found myself wishing I could go back in time and change an action. I had attended a funeral in another part of the country and had decided to wear a ring that was very precious to me, I don’t wear it very often but that morning I felt the need to have it with me. Sometime during the wake, I lost it. I don’t know where. So, now I am left wishing I hadn’t worn it or had paid more attention to it during the night.  But as we all know we are unable to go back in time, so I’m left feeling the loss of my ring. If I could go back in time would I have done anything differently? If I knew the consequence of my actions, then most probably. We all attach ourselves to objects. Some have more meaning than others. Some are a replacement for a lost one, which my ring was. We find ourselves wondering what would have happened if we had taken a different path.  

This is what Ben, the main character of Tom Ellen’s book All About Us found himself doing. With his marriage in difficulty, Ben found his life had stopped exciting him. Along with grieving the loss of a loved one and for the life he might have had, Ben evaluates his life and wonders what would have happened if he had made different choices.  Yet the choices we wish we hadn’t made help us to make better choices in the future. Hindsight is how we learn from our choices. 

Ben decided to confide in his best friend on Christmas Eve and seek advice.  However, a fortuitous meeting with a mysterious watch seller takes Ben on a trip in time, giving Ben something better than hindsight. He has the chance to time travel and play out the consequences of different events and actions. He even gets to see what life would have been like had he made different choices.  Tom Ellen’s writing in All About Us flows effortlessly over the pages as it takes us on an emotional journey through realisation, heartbreak, and joy. 

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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