I’ve been a big fan of Matt Haig ever since I read, and fell in love with, The Humans a few years ago. So I was really excited to get a copy of his newest book to read. How to Stop Time is a story about a group of people termed ‘albas’ (short for The Albatross Society) who age at a much slower rate that normal humans and can live to be 900. Tom Hazard is one such person; born in Shakespeare’s time to a woman later killed on suspicion of being a witch he is now a history teacher in London trying to find his daughter who lives with the same condition as he does.
There’s a fair amount of flitting back and forth between time periods- not confusingly so- while we learn more about Tom’s incredibly long life up until this point. It’s not a conclusive backstory- that would be impossible- but we learn enough to understand where he is in life and why he does the things he does.
Most of all this is a story about someone discovering what’s really important, how to live a life rather than just existing. Like all of Matt Haig’s books it’s uplifting and life affirming and by the end you feel all warm and squishy inside.