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TLC Review: All About Us by Tom Ellen

Title: All About Us

Author: Tom Ellen

Year Published: 2020

Category: Adult fiction
Pages: 355
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location (my 2020 Google Reading map)United Kingdom and France

FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for a fair and honest review

Summary (from the inside flap of the book): 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 then his old friend 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?
Review: I know it's not Christmas, but a I thought a holiday book might be fun to read during this dreary pandemic and it was. It's a quick and fun read even though it includes time travel, which I don't really go in for.

Ben is basically a good guy, but he's behaving badly and messing up his marriage. Late nights drinking, not being attentive, not following through... nothing horrible, but certainly not supportive or carrying his fair share of the "marriage weight." It's his story we learn, but we do get a sense of his wife's views through his observations. It's Ben's remorse that seems to bring the watch seller to him, starting Ben on a wild ride.

If you enjoyed Dickens' A Christmas Carol, then you're sure to enjoy this novel. Ben isn't visited by Christmas ghosts, but he does visit Christmases past, present, and future, each time reliving Christmas Eve and trying to figure out where he went wrong and if he wants things to change. I liked that he cannot change the future, but that he can learn from his actions. So, even though time travel in novels isn't usually for me, I liked this one. I was rooting for Ben and hoped that a happy ending would be a good escape from our present pandemic-reality and it was.

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