These days more people than ever are getting home deliveries of their weekly shop and I’m sure for many people the few minutes they spend chatting with the driver brightens their day. For some people, the delivery driver may be the only person they see and talk to each week. This is the story of Charlie, a delivery driver for Turner’s Supermarket, and the story of some of the people he delivers to.
It is clear from the beginning that some traumatic event in his past has hugely affected Charlie. He is obviously a caring person, even though his parents and siblings have derided him for this. He can’t switch off that caring nature, even when he takes what he expects to be a mundane job as a supermarket delivery driver. The target for delivery drivers is to complete each delivery in just four minutes.
There are three customers in particular who get under his skin and whose situations touch him. There is Vik who is widowed and cooks every week for his son and family who never come. Ruth is an alcoholic who has suffered a huge loss. Greg suffered terrible injuries but through his travel blog has became well known and is considered inspirational, though he doesn’t see it that way. Over the course of five weeks, Charlie gets to know these lonely people who are all grieving different kinds of losses. His caring nature comes to the fore and we see the ripple effect of his small, kind actions.
I don’t want to say much more about this beautifully written, emotional book as I really want you to discover it for yourself. It is about being kind to yourself as well as others and how the smallest of kindnesses can make the biggest of differences. It broke my heart and put it back together several times. I utterly adore all the characters and loved the book from the first page to the last. It’s currently only 99p for Kindle and if you want a truly uplifting read then you should get yourself a copy and start reading now. Four Minutes to Save a Life will definitely be on my top reads list this year!
Four Minutes to Save a Life is published by Trapeze (an imprint of Orion Books) and available now in paperback, audiobook and ebook formats. I purchased a Kindle copy from Amazon. If you are buying a print version, please do support an independent bookshop if you can. If you prefer a Kindle version, you can order that here: Four Minutes to Save a Life
From the back of the book
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’s tough exterior begins to soften, and he can’t help show a little kindness to the Hope Row residents, helping them find their place in the world once more.
But will his helping hand make everything worse?
About the author
I wanted to be an author from the moment I could pick up a pen and was writing boarding-school novels by the age of nine. I made the early mistake of thinking I ought to get a ‘proper job’ and went into Factory Planning – a career that gave me some wonderful experiences, amazing friends and even a fantastic husband, but didn’t offer much creative scope. So when I stopped to have children I took the chance to start the ‘improper job’ of writing. During the baby years I wrote in the brief gaps provided by sleeps, playschools and obliging grandparents, publishing short stories and serials in all the women’s magazines.
But my ultimate aim was to write longer fiction and several years ago I published a series of successful historical novels as Joanna Courtney. I will continue to publish under that name but am delighted, as Anna Stuart, to also be able to write contemporary fiction. Bonnie and Stan, the first of these, is a true to life romance set in both the present day and sixties Liverpool.
I’d love to hear from you via my website – @annastuartbooks.com, on twitter – @annastuartbooks, or on facebook – @annastuartauthor