“Haig writes exquisitely from the perspective of the heart-sore outsider, but at their most moving his novels reveal the unbearable beauty of ordinary life.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
Only a very few people are born through the ages that have a slower than usual metabolism in this work. They don’t live forever but they age slower like the protagonist of the story who ages 1 year for every 50. They have a natural immunity of diseases but that doesn’t mean that they can’t die in an accident, drown or receive a fatal gunshot wound.
After several hundred years in 1891 he comes in contact with a man who heads an organization called the Albatross Society where people like Tom are members. They have guidelines, rules and if you want to continue your life, you have no choice but join. Those that don’t are expendable. As the story unfolds the reader goes back and forth with Tom and he tells us his history. Often he is conflicted and wants nothing more but to settle in one place and enjoy life. Living life is a choice and Tom has to make the ultimate decision. I really enjoyed this work it was something of a different type of read.
Added 4th April 2020
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
This is the story of Tom Hazard who harbors a secret. He was born early in the 17th Century in France and he still lives today. This story is somewhat reminiscent of the novel Forever by Pete Hamill. Tom ages very slowly, about one year or so per decade.
His mother was killed as a witch because of this so he has been on the run ever since that happened. At some point he will discover their are others like him, and there is a man named Hendrich who has formed a secret society around these people offering them protection with changes of identity and new documents every eight years.
The only catch is that every once in awhile you have to go out on assignment for him, trying to bring other ageless wonders into the fold. Hendrich also has one big piece of advice for Tom. That is to never fall in love, as it makes living so intolerable when you lose your loved ones and you continue to go on almost forever.
But Tom fell in love before he met Hendrich and had a baby daughter who will turn out just like him. He will spend centuries looking for her.
The story is told in constant flashbacks to different centuries and these are by far the best parts of the book. The society which provides most of the drama in the story is ok, but I preferred the stories of the past much more.
At 325 pages it is a quick read especially as the chapters are usually only a few pages. If you like books of this nature I think you will enjoy it very much. Recommended.
Added 10th May 2018