Book Review: ‘The Little Big Things’ by Henry Fraser

The Little Big Things: About the Book

The Little Big Things is a first from this author, as you would expect from its recounting of his journey. With a foreword by J.K. Rowling no less. This was obviously a smart move. Had it not had such a high-level endorsement, I sense many could overlook it in the myriad of self-help and inspiring books. That would have been a shame. The foreword, 2.5 pages, concludes with, ‘I’m proud to count him one of my friends’.

Priced at £12.99. It contains around 36,000 words, which would take the average reader about 3 hours to read, with 60% comprehension.

The little big things image of book cover

Overview of the Story

The story is about Henry, a 17-year old boy/man, whose life changed forever after he hit his head diving into the sea. At the time, Henry was celebrating the end of the school year on holiday with his mates in Portugal. He was bright and a talented young sportsman with his whole life ahead of him.

Henry shares with us the days, weeks, and months of his struggles following the accident. From seeing the emotional journey of his family and friends, to his own struggle to come to terms with the horrendous cold truth that he had crushed his spinal cord paralysing him from the shoulders down. No stone is left unturned in this honest account. The author even reflects on the chance occurrence of forgetting his passport. A turn of events that had things turned out differently he could have missed the holiday entirely.

Inspirational…

In his uniquely uplifting way, Henry describes his own pleasant surprise at coming to terms with the number of people he has around him. He reflects on how positive they are, something he never really understood before. This particular piece caught my eye as he tells of a message from a school friend, a wonderful quote from St Francis of Assisi:

‘Start by doing what’s necessary, then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible’

Whilst demonstrating heroic determination for his rehabilitation, Henry describes the joys of rediscovering the simple pleasures. He finds wonder in nature and describes how incredible breathing fresh air felt. Henry also rediscovers a childhood passion for art, learning how to mouth paint. Furthermore, he overcomes a long hatred of public speaking to become a motivational speaker.

Final Thoughts

At first, the subtitle to the book, ‘A young man’s belief that every day can be a good day’ passed me by.  As did the painting of a man in a wheelchair with his back to us (painted by Henry). Yet, having read the book, it sums it up perfectly.

It has it all. Self-belief, a tragic struggle, whilst stretching your thoughts from ‘what a tragic waste’ to not being able to help yourself to think, that what happened, in some way, was almost meant to happen. If you believe in fate, the stars aligning – in a very macabre way. A very odd thing to say something so awful. Just that he sees, he overcame, and in the most fabulous way.

The book makes you glad it was not you. It makes you want to weep for his loss, scream for his parents, and then cheer for his bravery. Self-help by nature, this is a truly uplifting and rousing story of one man’s journey to find the positives from a dire situation. Inspiring and absolutely worth a read.

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Darren A. Smith

About Darren A. Smith

Darren has been working in the world of UK Supermarkets and Suppliers for over 20 years. He began his career as a buyer at one of the big 4 UK supermarkets and after rising through the ranks he decided to leave after 13 years and set-up Making Business Matter. For the last 14 years he has run MBM, which is a training provider to the UK grocery industry. Helping suppliers to the big four supermarkets to develop the soft skills that will secure them more profitable wins.

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