Publisher: Headline Review
Available in ebook and paperback (12 July 2018)
Source: Review copy
It’s no secret that I have always been a huge fan of Jill Mansell’s writing, several of her previous books have been reviewed here on the blog and I’m thrilled to be taking part in the launch celebrations for the paperback publication of This Could Change Everything. My thanks to the publisher and to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for the invite.
| About the Book |
On the one hand, if Essie hadn’t written that letter – the one that only her best friend was meant to see – then she’d still be living like an actual proper grown-up, tucked up with Paul in his picture-perfect cottage, maybe even planning their wedding…
On the other hand (if her true feelings hadn’t accidentally taken the internet by storm, that is) she wouldn’t have moved into the attic flat on the square. She would never have met Conor. Or got to know Lucas…
And she wouldn’t have found herself falling in love with someone she really, really shouldn’t fall in love with…
| My Thoughts |
The moment I met eighty three year old Zillah Walsh on the very first page, I knew that I was going to love this book. It’s escapism at its very best. Zillah was a fabulous character – no chance of her getting around on a mobility scooter. An open top Mercedes was more her style.
Essie thought she had found the perfect boyfriend in Paul, until that round robin letter, in the form of an email was sent just before Christmas. Meant as a joke between her and her best friend Scarlett and never intended to be seen by anyone else, her laptop fell into the wrong hands and the email went viral to everyone in Essie’s contacts – and then the media. Not such a big deal you might think, but it was the comments about her boyfriend and his mother – who also happened to be her boss, that lost Essie her boyfriend, home and job.
Luckily for Essie, fate steps in and she meets someone who can help; ending up in a super attic flat in a house in a desirable part of Bath. She is not the only occupant of the converted house. Also living there is Conor, an ex solicitor with a conscience now working as a gardener. Conor has his own backstory, which is very poignant and touching and shows what a really decent guy he is.
There are so many wonderful and engaging characters here, it would be hard to pick a favourite, and as much as I loved Essie for her sparkly personality and resilience, I think Zillah gives her a run for her money. Calculating but in a kind way, perceptive and at times just downright awkward, she is the star of the book. She has certainly lived a colourful life. Being a very wealthy lady, she has a unique way of giving something back – one which was rather lovely and made me quite wet eyed.
I’ve read all of Jill Mansell’s books over the years and each time I say the latest is my favourite! Well, guess what. This Could Change Everything is definitely my favourite (to date!!). It has everything that I want in a story of this genre – interesting characters that you can care about, laugh and cry with, romance (but not too slushy), clever and humorous dialogue – you know the sort of thing – there is always that person that we would all like to be that comes straight back with a witty but cutting retort – instead of thinking of something several hours later!
This Could Change Everything is heartwarming and uplifting and a story about fate and second chances and seizing the moment. I read it when I wasn’t feeling very well and it was just the perfect book for me at the time. I adored it and have no doubt that it will make my list of top books this year.
| Author Bio |
Jill Mansell is the author of over twenty Sunday Times bestsellers including THE ONE YOU REALLY WANT, TO THE MOON AND BACK, YOU AND ME, ALWAYS and MEET ME AT BEACHCOMBER BAY. TAKE A CHANCE ON ME won the RNA’s Romantic Comedy Prize, and in 2015 the RNA presented Jill with an outstanding achievement award.
Jill’s personal favourite amongst her novels is THREE AMAZING THINGS ABOUT YOU, which is about cystic fibrosis and organ donation; to her great delight, many people have joined the organ donor register as a direct result of reading this novel.
Jill started writing fiction while working in the NHS, after she read a magazine article that inspired her to join a local creative writing class. Her first book was published in 1991 and she is now a full-time novelist. She is one of the few who still write their books by hand, like a leftover from the dark ages. She lives in Bristol with her family.