Top positive review
6 September 2018
Have you ever watched hyperlink cinema, a film with multiple interrelated storylines? This Could Change Everything is exactly like that, a book where characters occupy independent stories, but are connected via common links or a character. The author weaves these stories, as if she is creating a perfect basket of emotional turmoil, kindness and love.
The star of this memorable set of characters is most definitely Zillah, and one of the most important themes of this book starts with her. It’s the concept of paying it forward. Doing a good deed and not expecting anything in return for it, but instead expecting the benefactor of the deed to do something kind for someone else in return and so on.
Her need to help others is probably driven by a feeling of guilt she has about her own sometimes selfish choices in life. All of that seems unimportant in comparison to all the people she is helping in the here and now. Including a young woman called Essie, who doesn’t recognise the abusive traits in her boyfriend, a young thief who needs a push in the right direction or a young man who can’t see the forest for all the trees.
It’s a read I know I will be recommending, especially to readers who seek a little respite from the stark reality of life, and who need to believe in love and the nicer side of humanity. Mansell knows how to present the messier side of relationships, which includes the mistakes and the wrong paths we take, but ultimately brings the threads together to create a smorgasbord of hope.
This book is a chocolate button in a world full of carrot slices, a little bit of sugar in a bitter tasting environment. It reminds us of the fact we control our own destinies and that we should all make the time for small acts of kindness.