Keeper of the Hourglass: The Life and Death of Peter Nichols - Book Review

Keeper of the Hourglass: The Life and Death of Peter Nichols

Author: G.L. Garrett
Genre: Young Adult - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Date Published: December 19, 2019
ISBN-10: 1684333903
ISBN-13: 9781684333905

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Book Review of :  Keeper of the Hourglass: The Life and Death of Peter Nichols


Author, G.L. Garrett, tackles a difficult topic in his young adult novel Keeper of the Hourglass. The Life and Death of Peter Nichols. The book delves into a particularly difficult theme: death and the afterlife, as told in the voice of a ten-year-old boy named Peter. The first sentence grabs the reader. “It’s as simple as this: we do not choose death: death chooses us.”  Unlike most books about death, this one is not about the bereaved but instead how the dead cope with their new life and what they left behind. Young readers, as well as adults, will ponder the author’s fictional narrative as a deceased Peter faces difficult decisions in his existence in the land of the dead.
            Peter feels imprisoned by his circumstances after his death and tries to escape back to his parents and his life before his fatal accident, but of course, that is impossible. He is led and challenged by Miss Penntiworth, a heavenly being, who encourages him to ask questions, investigate, challenge, and confront this new world he lives in. The world he finds himself in is beautiful with huge ornate rooms with glass ceilings and colorful frescos.  Painting and tapestries adorn the walls. Fountains splash sprays of water colored by rays of sunlight. Fruit and flowering trees fill the rooms as well as the many outdoor garden spaces.
            But Peter is not happy with his new job of reviewing the LifeBooks of the living.  He is bored and sorrowful of his status as deceased. During his examination of the many LifeBooks, he comes across one that is the record of a Robert Crones. This Lifebook really grabs his attention since it appears to narrate the entire life of his antagonist.   Peter holds Bobby Crones totally responsible for his sudden demise. He wonders why this older kid tormented him so much. The LifeBooks give him a glimpse into Bobby’s life, and part of what it reveals elates him, but suddenly, there is a turn of events, and Peter again feels hate raging up within him. The author leads Peter to explore the effects of suicide on the people left behind and to see that each life is connected through the medium of LifeBooks to a multitude of others.
            A character called Apius is introduced who is the personification of Evil. He is there to try to steal a powerful enchanted hourglass that has the ability to control time.  If Apius possessed it, he could orchestrate evil all over the world. Apius introduces himself to Peter at a point when Peter is indulging himself in a strong desire to exact revenge when he should be understanding forgiveness.
Garrett's book is filled with great warmth and is meant to be read and reread. It offers an interesting philosophical take on coping with loss and life in the great beyond. It speaks of many of the common frailties humans exhibit and the importance of forgiveness.
            Readers of all ages will be challenged and enlightened by the author’s sensitive approach to confronting lies, death, and sorrow. This book, Keeper of the Hourglass. The Life and Death of Peter Nichols could be used in individual or small group therapy to enable readers to confront the aftermath of the death of friends or family members, or dealing with bullying, and emotional mood swings.

Reviewed by: Carole W

About G.L. Garrett

At the age of five, G. L. Garrett asked Santa for a typewriter. It was at that moment he knew he wanted to be an author. In the second grade, after mercilessly clacking away at the typewriter keys, he had his first story published in a local newspaper in Upstate New York. After a lengthy hiatus lasting several decades, G. L. Garrett took to writing again, giving way to a much quieter laptop.

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