“I guess none of us turned out how we thought we would at nineteen. We all made mistakes and concessions and wrong turnings.”
Why Did I Read This Book?
My lovely friend, Lucy @ Drafted Dreams, sent me this book after reading it herself earlier in December. She really enjoyed it and loved how it is kind of like a play on the traditional A Christmas Carol’ story which we were reading with the ‘Let’s Get Classical’ Book Club.
What Did I Think?
I read this during a time where I was moving out of my parents’ home and into my first ever home with my boyfriend. So what should have been a quick and easy read, took me several days to finish. However, I found myself not wanting to put the book down and when I wasn’t reading it, the story was often floating around in my head.
If you don’t know All About Us follows a man named Ben who has been married to his wife Daphne for over 10 years but the magic/love is fading and whilst reminiscing and considering what his life would be like if he had gone for a different woman, he accidentally meets a mysterious time-travelling man/ghost who shows him glimpses of Ben’s past, future and present.
I loved how the author focused on the ‘what if’ question because let’s be honest we have all considered what our lives would look like now if we hadn’t chosen the paths we have. So it was really interesting to relive Ben’s earlier life and see how those events shaped who he was today, and even more interestingly, Ben reacting differently to past events having lived them once before.
I also loved the deeper exploration into grief and how it affects the human brain and relationships. Ben is clearly grieving when we meet him in the present day and has allowed his mental health to decline massively as a result, with his relationships with his wife and friends suffering too.
I really enjoyed the book and the pace and I would love to see it be made into a film. I especially thought the author’s focus on men’s mental health was refreshing because personally, I don’t think male mental health is talked about enough. The depiction of male friendship made me giggle because in my experience, men never really seem to talk about their real feelings with their mates and just brush things off before it gets too deep. So it was funny (and I guess important) to see this explored in the book too.
A real Christmassy treat!