Roswila's Dream & Poetry Realm

SEE ALSO: TRYING TO HOLD A BOX OF LIGHT (photos, realistic to abstract)

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

REVIEW OF "'TIMEKEEPER" by John Atkinson

A novel by John Atkinson
Publisher: Fisher King Press
ISBN 9780977607655 (ISBN 10: 0977607658)
248 pp. 2008, 1st Edition Hard Cover

“Timekeeper” is not an easy novel to review, nor is it an easy read. Atkinson has written a deeply personal journey that at the same time has managed to resonate through my own life, and I imagine the lives of many other readers.

The specifics of this tale – a horrifically abused and now barely teenaged boy, who escapes from his family home to search for what he feels is missing within himself – are movingly and skillfully related in the voice of this amazingly open and committed young soul. All along the way of this start to his individuation journey - his vision quest - he meets a wide array of characters, each briefly but tellingly. There’s a Medicine Man who gives him the name Timekeeper, a classic Hermit in The Tarot, a Christ-like figure, and so on. Johnnyboy, as he was called by his mother, is himself a classic Fool in the Tarot, complete with his dog to help him.

What I found intriguing and somewhat unusual was the economy of Atkinson’s writing. Nothing is belabored, and yet nothing is given short-shrift. The briefest recounting carries full weight. For a writer like myself who can go on at length I particularly admire this style of first person writing.

However, writing style aside, it’s the story itself that is so valuable and moving. How this young soul chooses to seek and grow at each turning of his path, never succumbing totally to the effects of his brutal upbringing. Nor even to his inability to read, another challenge he faces and begins to take on.

This book raised for me a question I and other survivors of childhood abuse have often ruminated over: how is it some take on that pain and continually transform it, while others simply pass it on becoming abusers themselves. The answer may be different for each survivor. And the answer in this story may be his mother’s love, a small speck around which his growth could form. Speaking of his mother, I do hope Atkinson further explores that relationship in the sequel he is writing. Again from my own experience and from hearing the stories of other abuse survivors, there is often much we need to work through even with a parent who’d been loving. I hasten to add this is not a lack in the Timekeeper book, just my curiosity with respect to Johhnyboy’s continuing journey beyond the time frame of this novel.

For those interested in Jungian psychology I especially recommend this book. But anyone interested in going on and learning from a vision quest with a young, determined, just beginning to open and heartening soul as their guide, this book will be an extremely worthwhile read.

* * * *

‘til next time, keep dreaming,

**** [aka: Patricia Kelly] **** If you wish to copy or use any of my writing or poems, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”)****My other blogs: ROSWILA’S TAROT GALLERY & JOURNAL and ROSWILA’S TAIGA TAROT, and Yahoo DREAMJIN: Group for Dreamku – Haiku-Like Dream Poems ****


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