Albert was lonely. His son had grown and moved away, his daughter was busy with her first child on the way, and the love of his life had travelled abroad to complete her dream of obtaining a degree. Alone in his home he retreats to his imaginings fuelled by the many fantasy novels he had read, and the increasing despair growing in the world. As time passes, like so many, he comes to think of despair as a sentient being, one he could vanquish given the right circumstances. Little did he know, he was about to get his wish. When he lit a candle sold to him by an old curiosity store he is transported to another world, one where a guide vows to fulfil his need for adventure. Equipped in his bathrobe and slippers he sets off, but the adventure awaiting him is nothing like that he expected. Seeking the source of despair he finds his life becomes intertwined with that of a young family, but when one of them is whisked away Albert vows to rescue him, and his quest alters and evolves with every step, but so too does his perception, that which is dream becomes more real than his former reality. When the tie comes to make a choice, which world, which family, will he choose?
The Time that’s Given is a fantasy novel by David Litwack. Written in an engaging first person perspective it allows you deep insight into Albert’s thoughts, concerns, and realisations. The slow yet steady pace introduces enough momentum to create an interest in the characters, and Albert’s daydreaming and overlapping realities allow insight into his past and the life he experienced as a younger man. There are many messages clearly evident in the book. Such as the difference in outlooks, where some people see only despair and hopelessness, there are those who see a glimmer of hope, and it is these who search for it who can make a difference. Small but powerful messages of self-discovery and self reflection invite the reader to think about their own lifestyles and outlooks. Unique ideas, magic, kinship, and enlightenment fill each page and will appeal to those who like a slower paced read with morals and messages clearly presented. Within this book are some amazing ideas, and I applaud the work’s potential to make the reader think about themselves and the world.