Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

I devoured this book in one day; it was so beautifully written and the set up made for quick reading. The creator of the first clock, Father Time, is banished to a cave for centuries, ageless and sleepless where he must listen to the voices of world asking for more time.

Two voices in particular rise above the others. One is teenager Sarah Lemon, an outcast in school who is hopelessly in love and who has given up on life. The second is Victor Delamonte, a wealthy elderly businessman who is seriously ill and seeking to live forever. Father Time is granted his freedom with the task of saving Sarah and Victor, and in the process try to learn the true meaning of time and thus save himself.

Throughout the book we go backwards and forwards in time. Back in time, we see Father Time as a child and his journey in measuring time and the consequences of his actions. Forwards in time we see Sarah in her everyday life volunteering at a homeless shelter, living with her mother and generally living the life of a normal teenage girl. We also learn about Victor, running his businesses, the relationship he has with his wife and his plans to cheat death.

The latter stages of the book reminded me of scenes from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, when Scrooge is shown how his life plays out differently when he chooses a particular path of living. Sarah and Victor are lucky individuals to be shown how their actions affect both themselves and others, but Father Time is also learning how his actions affected people in not only his lifetime, but throughout time itself.

 This is a magical, inspirational read along similar lines of philosophical author Paulo Coelho. It is so simple in its story but so sublimely written that you’ll race to the end to learn Father Time’s lessons with him. Overall The Time Keeper is a deeply truthful and eye-opening read.

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