A penpal of mine introduced me to this book and the author. It sort of had a calming effect on me, like that of sea waves.
The Time Keeper is an inspirational fiction novel written by Mitch Albom. It was first published in 2012 and has been in reprint ever since. You can easily find the book anywhere in any part of the physical or virtual world.
Mitch Albom says that he wants to “provide hope and inspiration to his readers as they have provided to him.” And hope and inspiration are the essence of this book. With The Time Keeper he tries to discover the meaning of time.
When we think of inspirational books,whether fiction or non-fiction, we expect them to be preachy, unsparingly philosophical or downright unrelatable. I put the book down initially thinking it would be filled with cliches that mock the genre , vague reflections and rootless insights. I have read inspirational novels that made me feel like I have been listening to a self-important jerk for hours.
Well, we might even take it to be like one of Paulo Coelho’s books. But don’t. His books are sort-of mystical while The Time Keeper is magical.
The story is essentially about Father Time- the first person on Earth to measure time.who began to count everything from his own breathe to pebbles, sticks etc., and who eventually ended up counting hours and minutes.
An Old Guy in long, white beard(read: Supreme One) is keeping a close watch on Father Time[DOR]. When Father Time, out of deep remorse, tries to turn back Time, The Old Guy strikes and locks away Father Time in a cave where he is to wait until a certain time. Ages and ages pass and he has filled the cave walls with his story and listened to billions of voices seeking more of time or less time., until one day he hears two voices[SARAH and VICTOR], both of them are trying to make the same folly as he did- alter time. He is released and has to save them so that he may be saved.
In terms of flow of text and clarity it is just ten on ten. The book is shifting perspectives, it is moving back and forth from past, present and at times future too, but not in one instance it seems incoherent. What I truly love about Mitch Albom’s style; that which makes me read more of his work is this subtle and simple thing he does. He puts the wisdom before you just as it is. Just one simple sentence and it unleashes a stream of thoughts in your mind.
For example- “But a desperate heart will seduce the mind.”
Yeah, these are very obvious but presenting it in a way that is not explaining or persuading but simply telling is what makes it impactful.
Coming to characters. Dor, Sarah and Victor are all complex and relatable. You may love them, dislike them or pity them, but you will feel connected to them.
Overall, it is an engaging plot. You won’t probably come out of it with more appreciation for time, but you will love the time you will have spent on the book.