A man sits alone in a cave.
A simple enough way to begin a tale, and that is exactly what Mitch Albom’s Timekeeper is. A simple tale about a simple thing that we all possess in equal measure.
The source of every regret and joy, every pleasure and pain.
The protagonists of this beautiful story try to manipulate this mysterious entity, each in their own way. Victor Delamonte and Sarah Lemon wishes for things that any mortal being would, while Dor is far too concerned about measuring his time and counting his breaths that he forgets to wish for anything else.
And yet in the end, he too ends up wishing for the same thing.
“I seek,” Dor whispered, “only to stop the sun and the moon.”
“Ah,” The old man said. “Is that not power?”
The good thing about Mitch Albom’s stories is that they’re crisp and short. I finished this book over a lazy afternoon that might have been spent doing nothing else, and it gave me a fresh perspective of life and certainly, time.
Sarah Lemon is a high school girl with every woe that befalls a teenage girl. She isn’t pretty enough, she is way too smart, and the guy she has a crush on is her one true love.
Or so she believes, until one moment tips every balance she ever had, and she decides to take a very serious step.
Victor Delamonte is the fourteenth richest man in the world. He lives with his wife Grace, a woman he loved and still does, though he isn’t always aware of it. He thinks he loves his business empire – what he built for himself – much more than he loves anything else.
That is what he believes, and that pushes him to take a step that he hopes shall confer immortality on him. A step that is, once again, guided by a single moment.
They represent two people, two different philosophies. They may seem entirely disconnected – and they are – until their common fates bring them together.
Fate, shaped by their desire to control time.
Time is presented as a simple yet complex entity, frozen and unfrozen, fast-forwarded and slowed down. But the greatest emphasis is placed on how it is essential to value every moment, to live it fully and freely, appreciating everything that we have been given.
The journey of Sarah and Victor is their own, but they are guided by another who has for long pondered over the meaning of his existence and the futility of it.
He was one man, and yet he changed everything.
“Remember this always: There is a reason God limits man’s days.”
“What is the reason?”
“Finish your journey and you will know.”
And this journey is worth finishing.