If you’re looking for a heart-felt read that really touches you on an emotional level, you’ve come to the right place. Anna Stuart really captures the human emotion, from the big things to the small. I loved this book – check out my review on Four Minutes to Save a Life.
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Publisher: Orion Publishing Group | Date: 2020 | Genre: General Fiction | Buy it here*
Plot: There’s always time to help out a stranger…isn’t there?
Supermarket delivery driver Charlie enjoys his new job because he doesn’t have to spend too long with people, who, he’s found, are nothing but trouble. But when he’s assigned the Hope Row street, he realises there are a lot of lonely people out there – and for some, he’s their only interaction.
The supermarket boss tells Charlie he’s a driver, not a social worker – but Charlie can’t abandon the Hope Row residents and he sets about trying to draw them out of their shells and back into the world. But will his helping hand make everything worse?
I received Four Minutes to save a Life from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Before anyone reads any further, it’s important to point out here that this book contains some difficult themes. Suicide, death and the death of a child all play a prominent role and all of the characters are affected deeply.
Please stop reading now if you need to.
Four Minutes To Save a Life Review
I wasn’t certain what I expected from Four Minutes to Save a Life. I was anticipating something uplifting and light. I was right in one case; and totally wrong on the other.
There are four main characters: Charlie, Greg, Ruth and Vik. All are struggling with their demons: Vik’s wife overdosed rather than lose to cancer; Ruth’s daughter emulated Virginia Wolfe and walked into a river never to come out; Greg had an accident that left him disabled and took everything he loved. And Charlie… Charlie may or may not be linked to one or all of these events.
Anna Stuart is a powerful writer. The plot centres around Charlie, working as a delivery driver and determined to bring these three customers together to atone for his past. As each story is heard by both Charlie and the sympathetic reader, you know there are common themes behind each tragedy. But this common theme has a link back to Charlie and you know he was in some way involved with one of the events. The clever writing, lack of details and knowing nothing about Charlie’s past, however, means you have no idea which one.
This book is emotional – and the type to stay with you after reading. Yes, there are some heavy moments; times when the characters have lost all hope, everything is unravelling and they don’t know how to pick themselves up. But there are moments of hope and light, where friendship and companionship are the best gift anyone could give and forgiveness and understanding the most powerful tool one can wield.
And, really, why hang around looking back when forwards is so much more enticing.Four Minutes to Save a Life by Anna Stuart
Some reviews are hard to write. This is one of them. I could talk about pacing, tension etc but they have no part in a novel like this. The character development is tricky to put into words: these characters must find a way to see the light when everything feels wrong. But the book is uplifting: all four find their reasons for living, all four find ways to connect to those they are estranged with, building bridges and helping broken hearts by coming out of their isolation.
The themes stick with you. As do the emotions. I finished this book and needed time to process everything I had read. I also was left with the feeling of wanting to connect to people, wanting to have people around I could share with because the power of companionship cannot be over-rated.
I’d highly recommend this book, but with a note of caution there is no shying away from difficult themes here and it may not be appropriate for everyone. This will be one that stays with me and the more I dwell on it, the more I realise how powerful it really was.
Does Four Minutes to Save a Life sound like your kind of read? Let me know in the comments!
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