All About Us By Tom Ellen
‘All About Us’ is the latest book by Tom Ellen.
Ben’s always loved the month of December, but this year, with his relationship with Daphne on the rocks, it’s missing its usual magic. And when his old flame Alice gets back in touch. Ben’s always thought of Alice as the one that got away, and he can’t help but wonder: what if he’d done things differently all those years ago? He never imagines he might get to find out… but when a stranger sells Ben a mysterious watch one freezing winter’s night, he’s astonished to wake up the next morning on 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?
If you’re looking for a male perspective on love and relationships, then check out the latest book by Tom Ellen, a witty and poignant festive tale with a modern take on ‘A Christmas Carol’
The story is seen solely through Ben’s perspective, as he ponders what if. Having been with his wife Daphne for 15 years, Ben is beginning to get itchy feet in life. Far from being the successful writer that he aspired to be, his relationship is drifting further apart and Alice, his old friend from university has gotten in touch about meeting up. Ben wonders what life could be like if he hadn’t chosen Daphne in his path for life and went with Alice instead. But on Christmas Eve when Daphne has to go to a work party, Ben goes out with his best friend Harvey and finds himself approached by an old man with a broken watch.Taking the watch, which is stuck at 11.59 finds himself being sent back to key moments in his life where he is able to make changes and really find out if life is better on the other side.
This is the second book that I’ve read in 2020 by a man writing romantic comedy and it was a breath of fresh air, filled with wit and love and injected with festive nostalgia. Ben is an interesting character who’s struggling with his place in life. Having aspired to be a successful writer and follow in his father’s footsteps, Ben is working in a job that he’s not happy with and the divide between him and Daphne grow more as she becomes more successful and his resentment grows. I loved Ben’s best friend Harvey, who’s there to offer words of support and encouragement when Ben is at his worst.
The story then flows in past, present and future sequences as Ben gets to relive the most important moments of his life and change the path of his life. These moments include him and Daphne’s first meeting as well as Ben spending more time with his mother before her sudden death. I particularly enjoyed the moments with Ben and his mother, she brought him up as a single parent and it’s on this nostalgia journey that Ben really takes the time to appreciate everything his mother did for him and this makes for poignant and reflective reading. Throughout the story, the old man who gave Ben the watch reappears with wise words helping him get on the right path.
This is a genuinely heartwarming story that is filled with hope and love. Concentrating on the complexities of relationships on all levels and the pressures of life. Beautifully written with witty and tender dialogue, relatable characters and such vivid descriptions that the roasted chestnuts were literally dripping from the pages, ‘All About Us’ is emotional roller coaster of a story that will make you shed sad and happy tears.
You can buy ‘All About Us’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.