Tuesday, 22 October 2013

The Time Keeper

Mitch Albom writes with a special kind of magic. His books are filled with soul and wonder and I find them incredibly uplifting. They are short and easy to read, but don't be fooled. He has packed an enormous dose of humanity and inspiration into every sentence. He tells fables, really. Modern-day ones, but fables nonetheless. It is not a genre common to our times and most of the others I have come across are preachy, and of little value beyond petty moralizing. Albom, however, brings so much heart to his stories.

I have just finished The Time Keeper and all the way through reading it, it increased my awareness of time to an almost comical level. "Coincidences" were everywhere, examples of things referenced in the story presented themselves unsubtly into my life, and I found myself constantly pondering time: how do we spend it, waste it, lose it, find it? Do we control it or does it control us? Each moment is an opportunity to make a choice. Are we choosing wisely? It was a book that made me think a lot about how I was spending my time and a book that I fully engaged with.

Albom takes you on a journey, asks you to ask questions of yourself about your life, and entertains you along the way. He is never preachy or prescriptive or judgemental. He always treats his readers with respect and lets them make up their own minds about the deep themes he disguises in such light packaging. I know of no other writer like him and I am already looking forward to his next book and what it will teach me. I can guarantee it will be wrapped up in hope, which is a joyful thing to share and he is nothing if not generous.

If your heart needs lifting, please treat yourself to this beautiful tale of redemption or indeed any of his previous books. His message is simple: your life is precious — value it well. Sometimes it is good to be reminded of that and Albom's books are lovely reminders, told with wisdom and grace and a touch of something a little bit extraordinary.

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