All About Us by Tom Ellen

Title: All About Us

Author: Tom Ellen

Pub date: 15th Oct 2020

My Rating: ★★★☆☆


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.

All About Us is a magical book to warm your heart around the holiday season (or even completely outside of it, I read it in February 😉 ). It is a reimagined Christmas Carol with man at a low moment in his life – still struggling emotionally after the loss of a loved one, coming to terms with lack of writing career, losing energy and willingness to work on his marriage and at a brink of starting an affair. The day before Christmas Ben is thinking if he made the right choices in his life, he is considering all the what-ifs. The biggest what if for Ben is: what if he married a different person? At this moment stranger gives Ben a broken watch and wishes him that it will answer all his questions.

The strange encounter in a bar ends in a series of time jumping days, where Ben gets to relive some of the most important days in his life. He has the chance to see what he could have done differently, how it would impact his life in the present.
I thoroughly enjoyed the story. For me, the story showcased how powerful love is, and how much of a self-centred asshole we can be. The book gives us hope that we can always change.

If you don’t like your life, you can change it.

It was really easy to sympathize with the main character, even though we don’t share any common experiences. Some emotions and shortcomings are universal, no matter what experience brought them on us. Ben often struggles with a feeling of inadequacy, and he tends to fall into self-pity. This is very much understandable for me, and I believe it will be the same for many readers. This universal traits make the book enjoyable and warm your heart.