The Time Keeper: Book Review


I finally read a Mitch Albom book! I know, I should read Tuesdays with Morrie because it probably changed your life. 

I found this one by accident, looking up books with interesting or unique views of time. The Time Keeper has that, for sure.

The book is about Father Time (whose name is Dor), but not in a cheesy cartoonish way. In fact, he takes several opportunities to be sure you know that all the cheesy cartoons are BASED on Dor's real life experiences.

The descriptions of this book are super misleading, saying that God punished this man for trying to number his moments. It's the same way people say God punished Jonah by making him spend three days in the whale. What would have happened to Jonah WITHOUT the whale? He would have drowned. Same thing here... what they are calling God's 'punishment' is a lesson-learning opportunity brought about by human failing that book-God seized to teach the character something.

I liked it. Mitch's words are so sparse. The book is a fast read, mostly because there's a lot of blank space. I mean that as high praise; what I would use a thousand words to almost describe, he uses 16 to nail perfectly. He's very gifted.

There are two stories woven in with Dor's -- a younger high school girl and a man about to die. The author has a depressing view of where humanity is heading in the future scenes, but not one that I hold against him. The story's "moral" if you will (which the reader watches all three main characters learn) is to cherish each moment. 

Sad, but not in a depressing way.  Bittersweet, possibly. You mostly know where the story is going from the first chapter, but that doesn't mean you won't want to keep reading. This story isn't a boring hike to a beautiful view; it's a beautiful hike that just goes in a circle. 


A legacy of reading

Me: Who gave you this book?

Him: You did.

Me: And this one?

Him: Aunt Patty. I love reptiles.

Me: That’s right! What about this one?

Him: Oh, Nina got me that before I was even born!

My husband and I may often read on our tablets instead of holding a paperback, but our children have inherited our love of reading. But I have to back up and point out that we didn’t start the cycle… it’s been passed down. We are so blessed to be in a family of readers. That particular blessing always makes me smile when I read books with my kids.

It’s so special to me that my sons know where their books have come from. It gives me a giggle when I hear the 6yo tell the 3yo, “Be careful with that one, it was daddy’s when he was a little boy and it’s very, very, VERY old.” (Yep, just like Daddy, it’s being held together with six layers of scotch tape!)

We use our books hard, and of course there have been the occasional tearing incidents that any kids go through that make me angry… but the truth is that books don’t really get old. The story is always there, frankly, even if the middle spread where Thomas finally gets to the bakery and picks up the milk is missing. You can just sort of figure it out and keep going. (Plot points in children’s books aren’t that hard to improvise.)

Looking through my children’s bookshelves, I found at least one signed book from basically every living family member (except my one sister doesn’t sign her books!), plus books from those who are already with Jesus. I found books inscribed to my husband on various childhood occasions plus books inscribed in my amazing aunt's childhood cursive (the original Curious George book), one inscribed to my brother-in-law (#sorrynotsorry, Mike), and one addressed to my cousin from our mutual uncle with a note dated 1977 (In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak). I was particularly pleased to find one my husband received on his first Christmas from his Great Aunt Naomi who just went to heaven this week. A legacy that lives on...

Thinking about all the little hands who have read these words makes me so happy. The legacy of reading in my family is such a blessing, and I’m thrilled to be able to pass it on to my kids.