We all know someone who seems to have it all; nice husband, beautiful house, good children, but scratch the surface and you find things are not always quite as rosy as you think. This novel is a good mirror on today’s “have it all” or at least, “want to have it all” society. It questions our motives of what we do to help others and how selfish we can become to help ourselves, putting our own wishes and desires before anything or anyone else.
Although the title is One Little Mistake, it seems to me “One Mistake After Another” may have been more accurate as we are made aware of three major things by page 15 and it carries on from there. Half of the story is in present day and half in early 1990’s; what’s the connection between two seemingly unconnected stories? We certainly find out later in the book where the storylines converge spectacularly leading to the unexpected climax.
Of course, although, as I’ve said, there are other mistakes, the “one mistake” of the title is about who you can trust and this gives us some food for thought. We live in an age of online friendships and casual meetings. Can we trust what people tell us about their background? Are people trying to befriend us because of what we can do for them? Are we pushing our children to make friends with particular other children because we want to be part of that family? To have something of what they have for ourselves? It does make you question who you let into your life and how much you want to share. I once heard someone say that you never have friends like those you met at school as you know that person’s family and you have seen them grow up. When meeting someone as an adult, you have only that person’s version of their history and who hasn’t dreamed about re-inventing themselves and starting fresh with a new life? However, our past stays with us, much as you may not want it to and it make us the people we are today.
This novel certainly is a page turner and makes you want to keep reading to the end. As it says “The story has everything”. Just make sure you choose your next new friend wisely.
One Little Mistake is published by Transworld Books and will be available in all good Hillingdon Libraries very soon!
Thanks for reading!