Check It Out: How to Stop Time by Matt Haig

May 4, 2020

This is Jessi Wakefield with the Sioux City Public Library and you’re listening to Check It Out.  And today I would like to talk to you about the sweet, subtle, supernatural love story, How to Stop Time by Matt Haig.     

Tom Hazard has a few rules that he lives by, but none more important than: Don’t fall in love. You see, he may look like an ordinary 41-year-old but he’s actually centuries old. He’s one of very few humans throughout time with a rare condition that makes him age much slower than a typical man.

Born into a wealthy French family in the 1500s, he has traveled all over the world, assumed many different identities, and led a life characterized by adventure, trauma, emotion, and loneliness. To avoid being institutionalized, treated as a medical research subject, or even burned at the stake, Tom has moved around his entire life staying nowhere more than a decade. This being the case, love becomes a liability. Love makes you want to stay.

When the book opens, Tom has decided to return to London and teach history at a local low-income high school. He is tired of constantly being on the move and wants to have an ordinary life. The only hiccup in the plan comes in the form of a captivating and beautiful French teacher.

As his quest for a normal life unfolds, we are taken back and forth in time to learn about the many places and people Tom has experienced over his long life. Many of these painful memories of his past threaten to derail his life now and he wonders if his new romance will destroy him or save him.

Haig pulls off a lovely, big hearted romance while keeping a keen balance of past and present. I hope you have the time to check out How to Stop Time. Contact the Sioux City Public Library for this title and other sweet tender novels.

Support for Check It Out on Siouxland Public Media comes from Avery Brothers.