Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

By now I've learned that whenever I read a novel by Mr. Albom to keep the Kleenex close by. I cried a river over this little book.

It’s the story of Father Time, his punishment and redemption. The first man to attempt to measure God’s greatest gift—Time—is punished for it. He’s banished to live alone in a cave, to listen to every desperate human plea for more time. After 6,000 years have passed, he’s given a chance to redeem himself. Equipped with a magical hourglass, he is sent down to earth to teach two people the true meaning of time and that it’s a precious gift that should never be taken for granted.

Sarah Lemon is a humiliated love-struck teenager poised to commit suicide on the loneliest night of the year—New Year’s.

Victor Delamonte is 89, one of the richest men in the world, dying of terminal cancer and unable to do anything about it. Since he can’t be cured, he turns to cryonics in the hope of cheating death.

Can Father Time save them both from making fatal mistakes? Will he be forgiven at last? I’m not going to spoil it for you.

Mr. Albom has a real gift for writing short novels that go straight for the heartstrings, they grab on and wring tears out of you. At least that’s how they always affect me. Though my own circumstances are rather different, and I’m a long way from seventeen, I could really relate to Sarah’s feelings of hopelessness. I’ve had too many dark nights of the soul not to be affected, especially since New Year’s, the night she chose for her suicide attempt,  is one of the hardest, and loneliest, nights, and days, of the year for me.  I’ll keep this on my bookshelf, alongside Mr. Albom’s The Five People You Meet In Heaven and For One More Day, but I don’t honestly know if I will ever read this one again. It’s beautiful, and many may be moved and find hope within its pages, and I wish I could have, but, for me at least, it bites too deep.

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