In this fable, the first man on earth to count the hours becomes Father Time. The inventor of the world's first clock is punished for trying to measure God's greatest gift. He is banished to a cave for centuries and forced to listen to the voices of all who come after him seeking more days, more years. Eventually, with his soul nearly broken, Father Time is granted his freedom, along with a magical hourglass and a mission: a chance to redeem himself by teaching two earthly people the true meaning of time.
“When you are measuring life, you are not living it.” -- Dor
To me, Albom’s ultimate question is are you counting moments or living in moments? The book is 222 pages, and yet there is so much contained within these pages! Albom is very selective about word choices, plot threads, illusions between characters, and so he is able to say so much but with so few words. When you finish any of his books, you feel like you’ve traveled a lifetime’s worth of experiences. This book is no exception.
The way Albom crafts the past and future is just as meaningful as the meat of the book: the present. Our lives are defined by time. We work certain hours, pack all we can into moments we have off, and define our lives by the way we use time. In this book, Albom hits all the right notes about how we, as humans, obsess about time and subsequently lose it in the same effort.
The story highlights two sides of a coin, two spectrums, to how people try to grasp time and control it – ending it and trying to prolong it. Sarah’s story was particularly relatable, being that I’m not the 14th richest person in the word like Victor, when it comes to remembering teenage insecurities. I cannot imagine these feelings being blasted over the internet for the world to comment and criticize on. It was so chilling but sadly true for this age. And while we know so little about Sarah and Victor, Albom highlights moments of their lives which illustrate the way they think and react and at the same time is able to make the reader relate to them.
Albom does not disappoint with this book. The pace was slower in the middle chapters, but the ending was powerful and heartfelt. Life, in the end, move in a circle. It is meant to be free from the constraints of time… and all because one man finally learns to live. It’s a breath of fresh air and an immensely satisfying read. Albom has a vivid, wild, yet touching imagination.
Albom takes a simple theme, something we all think about, and he creates an inspirational, extremely creative avenue to explore it. The book encourages us to think about how simple life would be if we were just enjoying the moment we were in, without thinking of all our other responsibilities in the next moment, the next appointment, the next day, the next problem. But in truth, there is enough even more powerful theme… this book boils down to a love story.
Faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. Love life so much that we lose ourselves in time? Can we even imagine such a concept?
Just released December 2016: "The Forgotten" volume 2 "Heir of the Heretic"
Reviewed and awarded the
2016 Indie Editor's Choice
by the Historical Novel Society.
Long listed for the Historical Novel Society 2017 Indie Award.
Goodreads profile at: https://www.goodreads.com/JElse