The Time Keeper


When the thought of starting my own blog cropped up in the back of my mind, I wondered what I would I write about.  What did I have to share that other people would be interested in?  I had a ton of ideas, and decided that I didn’t have to focus on just one subject!  Why share anything through this type of format if it’s nothing something I’m passionate about.  Two quick things about me: I love to cook (though don’t always have the time), and I love books (I will make the time – because this is so much a part of who I am).  So, in addition to writing about food and crafting, I’d like to also occasionally share some great books.  That’s one thing that connects me with some of my closest friends – our shared loved of reading.

I am never without a book in my nightstand.  Sometimes I’m working on 2 or 3 books at a time (which is the case right now!).  I love reading a multitude of genres, have a few guilty pleasures, and even enjoy audiobooks on my iPod.  As a history teacher, I am interested in many books that most people would not find interesting.  Earlier today I finished Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow, which was an excellent read!

Instead of talking about Ragtime, which is about life in New Rochelle, New York after the turn of the 20th century, I’ll share another book I recently finished, as a first post about books.  A few days ago I finished The Time Keeper, by Mitch Albom.  Like other books of his that I’ve read, I really enjoyed it.  Although it wasn’t my favorite book by him, I think it was a great story – and in keeping with the theme most common his book, was reminding readers to appreciate life and those closest to us.

Albom has written just a few books in his career as a fiction writer.  He has another really successful career as a sportswriter.  His first book, and the first of his that I read, was Tuesdays with Morrie, which was a chronicle of a series of interviews he did with one of his favorite college professors who was dying of Lou Gherig’s disease.  Morrie was an important part of Mitch’s life, although they had not seen each other for many years, through these interviews they were able to reconnect.  The experience was something amazing, and touches the reader in an incredible way.  Morrie Schwartz had so much to give, this book has educated millions of readers to many important life lessons he shared with Albom.  Albom was once a student in his class, yet these lessons have far transcended that classroom.

His newest book takes on a similar theme.  All of his books seem to have a religious tone (especially Have a Little Faith, in which faith itself is questioned).  In Morrie, one is reminded to cherish time with family and friends, and to do something important and memorable.  In Time Keeper Albom is stressing something similar.  The main character in the book is Father Time.  You have a sense of who this individual is in the beginning of the story, and throughout the book the scope of his power – and curse are understood.

Father Time began, in what seems a short time after the lives of Adam and Eve, to have experimented with time measurement.  Like Adam and Eve, his knowledge of the world around him was somewhat limited.  Another comparison is made between him and the two who were kicked out of the Garden of Eden, he is cursed for having measured time.  Instead of relishing life, he questioned God, his place in the universe, and his own existence.

Time was meant to be infinite, until Father Time began to measure it.  His curse is to live forever, while his friends and family die he continues on.  He also begins to hear the pleas of everyone in the world asking for more time – for themselves, from their loved ones, to do things left undone before their time is over.  Eventually, through thousands of years of this cursed existence, he finds redemption – the possibility of helping two individuals who had each made a plea for more time.  These two people could not be more different – one a young girl trying to win the affections of a boy who seems out of her league, and an older man who is dying and leaving behind a devoted wife of many years.

This book reminds us to cherish the time we have here on earth – with our friends, family, those who mean the most to us.  It also gives hope to those whose time has run out, of what awaits us when the last grain of sand in the hourglass (one of Father Time’s most important tools) has passed.  I recommend this to anyone who has enjoyed Albom’s other books – or to new readers who could use a little encouragement, a reminder of how connected we are as people, or anyone who could just use a smile!