Reviews of "The Time Keeper," by Kevin E. Cropp »

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Given a second chance... October 31, 2006
Karen Buffkin, [Conway, SC]
Thank you, Mr. Cropp, from the bottom of my heart. Your novel may very well have saved my own children from experiencing the same emotions and rejections that you endured following your mother’s diagnosis of cancer and the inner wars she fought in the days, months and years following the same. After reading "The Time Keeper" I now feel as though I have been given a second chance to be a better mother because I was able to read the story through a child’s eyes and first hand, honest knowledge of how cancer and its demons affect the family unit as a whole. I could never find the words to properly convey just how touching this novel was. I am waiting with eager anticipation for the sequel.

WONDERFUL! October 20, 2006
Rubi Jule, [Fayetteville, NC]
I read the "The Time Keeper" in its entirety the very day I purchased it and as I started I could not put it down. Suffice it to say, it was WONDERFUL READING! As a Fayetteville native and Kevin's former middle school teacher, I was beaming with pride as I perused every single word. I could relate to so much of what he said and I applaud his ability to give us such an interesting literary work. I shall read it again and again and eagerly anticipate reading the sequel. Thank you for providing Kevin the opportunity to share so brilliantly, "The Time Keeper" with us.

A Blessing.. October 19, 2006
Misty, (Wilmington, NC)
I bought the "The Time Keeper" last week and I am already finished. It was a beautiful story! A story that must have been difficult to relive, but shows the wonderful person that the author has become because of it. Not a lot of people can make something positive out of a rather negative situation. I can't wait to read Kevin Cropp's next book and I do hope that he knows that his mom is looking down on him from heaven and she has been guiding him the entire time. God Bless him!

Quick Read... October 15, 2006
Sandra Carter, [Kenly, NC]
I read this book in two sittings...I couldn't put it down. Great job expressing your mother's inner thoughts.

A Home Town Hero... September 19, 2006
Krassimira Popova, (Bulgaria)
I was extremely happy to meet with the author of "The Time Keeper" - Kevin Cropp in August 2006. I myself had two cancer surgeries up to now so, I appreciate his talent treating such a sensitive theme. I saw the pride of the citizens of Fayetteville, NC for him being awarded the B. Franklin Award for 2006 - he deserves it indeed!

Refreshing Style... September 19, 2006
CKa5512989, (Fayetteville, NC)
What is paramount about "The Time Keeper" is the fact that he has a very refreshing style. He is an excellent author; I read the book in record time. "The Time Keeper" speaks loud and clear. Kevin Cropp is an up and coming, outstanding new author. I look forward to his next book.

Wonderful!!! September 19, 2006
Glenda Slaughter, (Fayetteville, NC)
WONDERFUL BOOK !!!! The young writer is very impressive. I could not put the book down. I'm looking forward to his next book. Five Stars from me!!! Please let me know when the new one is out.

Down to Earth. September 18, 2006
Tom McCutchen, MD, (Fayetteville, NC)
My wife and I were both impressed that the feelings, both positive and painful, as expressed in the book were down to earth and real, especially those with his mother. It was obvious that they had been lived by the author and this only increased the credibility of the writing. I was drawn into the descriptions of the baseball action and found myself eagerly awaiting the next game! The book serves as a reminder that life, in reality, is a mixture of the pleasant and bittersweet experiences that are common to all of us who are in family relationships…and that persistence and love often can move us through the bittersweet to more positive feelings.

Impressive! September 18, 2006
Irene Girouard, (Fayetteville, NC)
Kevin Cropp did a great job taking you through this poignant time in his life. I heartily recommend this book to teenagers and parents, alike. Keep a box of kleenix handy, though! I'm looking forward to reading more of his books!

Captivating. September 17, 2006
Sarah Tilghman , (Fayetteville, NC)
"The Time Keeper" was a very captivating story. I put a book down if it does not hook me in the first or second chapter..."The Time Keeper" had me at the first paragraph. I cannot wait for the follow-up...when is it being released?!?!

Wonderful. September 4, 2006
Cathy Brown, (Aberdeen, NC)
I would like to tell how wonderful of a book Cropp has written. I truly enjoyed it. I laughed then I cried. I had a somewhat similar relationship with my mother when I was growing up and lost her in 1987. I could relate to Cropp's thoughts and feelings, and I will be on the look out for his next novel.

"The Time Keeper" hit close to home. August 4, 2006
Amy Hilton, (Atlanta, GA)
I must admit that it took me almost a year to finally read this book because it hits close to home for me. I am helping raise my 17 year old stepson who lost his mother to cancer 3 years ago. Kevin Cropp does a wonderful and accurate job of allowing us into the mind of a teenager dealing with a loss. Corey really lost his mother 10 years before her death and was fortunate enough to find her before it was too late. I took the book to the beach and read it in 2 days eager to find out what happened next. I know this book was written from the heart and with a truth that can only come from experience. A beautiful and well written story that tells of the beauty of life and death.

As an author Cropp pushed me... and I flew. July 14, 2006
Jim Neill (Vancouver, WA)
I have read a lot throughout my life and I can honestly state that this book is the most personally compelling I have ever read. Cropp's straightforward writing style captured me immediately and I think he has an amazing ability to write in an efficently effective way. I appreciate the way he drew a clear outline of each character, filled in key points of their souls, and then empowered we readers to complete the personalities as we wished or more importantly in my case, needed. I have distinct images in my head of not just how your characters look, but their mannerisms and personalities as well. I am a son who lost a mother to cancer and, while my circumstances at first seemed completely different than Corey's, as I read, the more I realized how extraordinarily similar our journeys were. Cropp's book empowered this trained counselor to cry, unlocking tears that had been veiled/controlled for years. I related to how simple, yet complex, Corey's feelings and actions were. My reaction to "The Time Keeper" reminds me of that famous quote of Guillaume Apollinaire: "Come to the edge, he said. They said: We are afraid. Come to the edge, he said. They came. He pushed them and they flew." This book got me to come to the edge, as an author he pushed me, and I flew. Thank you so much for creating something that made me feel....really feel....and has made a difference in my life.

Focus on the Coast. July 2006
(Wilmington, NC)

Drawn into the characters. May 21, 2006
Marilyn Thompson (Southport, NC)
I was drawn into the characters. Although I watched the growth of Corey and urged him on, it was Linda I responded to the most. For me the story portrayed the truth that what really matters in life is the unbreakable, imperfect bonds between the generations. I look forward to reading more about Corey and hopefully about Corey and Emily.

A message for all. May 21, 2006
Deb Sparrow (Southern Pines, NC)
My husband and I both read this book. We feel there is a messege for all in "The Time Keeper" and we especially like Kevin Cropp's style of writing--his honesty, his depth, and his presentation.

A lot of heart and emotion. May 21, 2006
Cheryl Futrell (Vass, North Carolina)
In "The Time Keeper" Kevin Cropp made the readers feel the love hate relationship and the frustrations between Corey and his mom. I found myself rooting for both of them as I read and wanted so very badly for them to find one another and love one another again. Life really is too short to harbor on the bad, it is much easier just to love the ones you are with.

An emotional roller coaster. (May 12, 2006)
Cassandra M Norcross (Wilmington, NC)
This book had a raw truth that you do not find in many books these days. You see the inner struggles of both mother and son throughout the entire book and can not help but become swept up in the emotional roller-coaster which is their lives. I would (and have) recommend this book to anyone who is interested in a story which shows the good, the bad, the ugly and the power of self-acceptance.

Cherish everyday. (May 10, 2006)
Ginger Gentry (Southern Pines, NC)
It is truly a very touching story. It made me realize how important it is to appreciate each day and live it to the fullest. But, most of all, it made me realize to never let a day go by without telling my children how much they mean to me and how much I love them. The book was wonderful! I'm sure it will touch many, many lives. I will definitely recommend this book to all of my friends.

An emotional roller coaster. (April 29, 2006)
Bonnie McDonald (Jacksonville, NC)
Kudos to this young author on such a heart felt novel. I could not put the book down once I started and read cover to cover in a day. And it was a day well spent. I look forward to all future novels from Kevin Cropp, and hope that he knows that he has a big fan here in NC. I would recommend this book to anyone and know that once they have read it they will also pass these recommendations on to their loved ones as well. This story will take a toll on every emotion you possess. This story will show that whatever pain and hurt you have experienced can and will be healed through the power of a loving relationship...even the ones that can get lost along the way.

Kevin Cropp's story is addictive! (April 27, 2006)
Ellen Parrish (Wilmington, NC)
This story of a teenage boy struggling to understand his mother was addictive. Cropp does a phenomenal job of setting up scenes and his language flows so easily that the reader feels like they are in the scene themselves. I've read few books that give me such a feeling and Cropp's "The Time Keeper" is one of them. I couldn't put the book down. It was truely sensational.

"The Time Keeper" pulled at my heart strings... (April 26, 2006)
Jessie DuRant (Wilmington, NC)
I was able to stand in Corey's shoes, feel what he felt, and look at life through his eyes. Over the course of time, his character transformed dramatically, just as I did reading it. What an amazing story! It pulled at my heart & kept me turning every page.

One of the best books I have ever read... and in ONE sitting! (April 25, 2006)
Sarah Carroll (Wilmington, NC)
I will be honest ... I purchased it to support an author, and slightly because I needed a book to read. I mean really who goes to a "street fair" and picks up one of the best books they have ever read? "The Time Keeper" caught me, kept me and would not let go. I cried harder than I have in years. I myself, not feeling at peace with my relationship with my own mother (she passed away also) this book really hit me hard and yet gave me hope in life. What a wonder! I await other writings by Kevin Cropp with eager anticipation and will not be "loaning" out my autographed copy of this wonderful work of art.

Outstanding debut...heartwarming and heart wrenching. (April 24, 2006)
MJR (Wilmington, NC)
Kevin E. Cropp's debut novel is a poignant read - particularly for anyone struggling with the death of a loved one where there is or was conflict during life. "The Time Keeper" is a powerful testament to the beauty of unconditional love. The fragility of life and opportunity for growth in the face of death are tenderly woven in the story of Cory's emotionally charged senior year. With Linda's mutant cells painting a bleak backdrop, the rebirth of two lost souls at completely different crossroads in life seizes center stage.

I cried my eyes out. (April 17, 2006)
Nita M Brown (Outer Banks, NC)
"The Time Keeper" is a poignant and earnest rendering of a young man's journey through great tragedy as he comes to terms with the death of his mother. It is a process through pain of rediscovering all that is dear to him and all that creates and defines the true character of a person. Kevin Cropp paints a canvas vivid, timeless, and with great tenderness.

A moving coming of age tale. (April 3, 2006)
LA Rentschler, author of the novel "Mother" (Rutherford, NJ)
When Corey Wails learns his mother's cancer has returned, it doesn't exactly break his heart. Her constant criticism and uneven temperament have him waiting out his high-school sentence, dreaming of leaving home for a pitching scholarship at the end of his senior year. Baseball, his dog, and his girlfriend represent all that is good in his life, and Corey eventually doesn't even return home at the end of the day. He moves from school, to practice, to his girlfriend's house, and from game to game in the playoffs, as though he has no family at all.
But as his mother's condition deteriorates, Corey takes his father's advice and begins listening to her apologies. He recognizes that he can lessen her pain if he could only manage to open his heart. With an ever-dimming prognosis, Corey wades deeply into the details of Linda Wail's life, hearing of her disappointments, her regrets, and her wishes to be a better mother. He becomes so active a participant in her illness, he even accepts being thrown off the baseball team when he is late because he was helping her. As the teen matures into the son who holds his mother's hand and promises to visit the places she always wanted to see, he assures her, "I dream the same as you do."
Cropp has written a poignant coming of age tale with emotions that befit a teenager's angst at losing the mother he is only beginning to know and like. He captures the confusion of a young man whose world is spiraling, and punctuates it with realistic scenes where cancer takes control of a household, a family, a teenage life. Cropp's novel is a reminder not to be casual with time, dreams, or especially love.

Profound Insights - Living Out Your Dreams (April 1, 2006)
Richard R. Blake (San Leandro, CA)
Kevin Cropp has created and developed a gripping novel. The story line is compelling and forceful. The characters are credible. The author has revealed a keen and often profound insight into the conflict between a dominating parent and a rebellious teenager.
As a reader I often found myself identifying and emphasizing with an individual character in the drama. Kevin used many descriptive phrases that enabled me as a reader to see vividly the imagery and color of the scene portrayed.
The attention to detail throughout the story as feelings were expressed through dialog and narrative reveal a tenderness that had to grow from personal experiences of pain and hurt by the author. The maturation process of young Corey bears testimony to the impact of how we grow through crisis experiences. A metamorphosis transpired that allowed Corey to become an adult in his thinking and values. He realized, although time is short, it is never too late to make amends.
An interview with the publisher at the end of the book gives additional insights into the life and thinking of the author. A book club guide with discussion questions is provided. This is an excellent tool for group consideration. I found it helpful in reflecting on the many faceted complexities the characters faced throughout the story.
This is a book for everyone who is looking for reconciliation in a relationship or for those hoping to find a deeper meaning in life. I highly recommend this book. It is a book that I not only read but experienced.

A deeply moving account of survival and renewal. (March 23, 2006)
Cheron J. Mayhall, Ph.D. author of "The Bridge Is Love: A Journey Through Grief to Joy After the Death of a Child" (Northwest US)
Cropp artfully creates characters with great depth as protagonist and antagonist role-switch in early chapters. Woven throughout are intricate, insider descriptions of high school baseball's highs and lows. As the story proceeds to the end-game of life, "The Time Keeper" provides the reader with assurance there is "...a time for every purpose under heaven." A deeply moving account of survival and renewal.

Celebrate Life. (February 23, 2006)
Jessica Bodford (Enloe High School, Raleigh, NC)
People always think that coping with disease and suffering is always okay if you have someone to help you stand strong, but those are empty words. I have suffered plenty with deaths in my family due to cancer and sickness, and I know that feeling of loneliness that separates you from your friends and family. It's not fair, really, if you think how so many people have spent decades with that person you loved so much, and you only had a few years to know them before they were taken--stolen away from you--gone forever. The Time Keeper really captured those feelings I have been trying for years to push back, and I have learned so much from Corey's feelings. I know now that I should embrace death and celebrate life...and that those people we miss so much will always be there for us. Time cannot stop that.

A very good read. (February 1, 2006)
Notes Guru (Raleigh, NC)
If you only read one novel this year, this is one worth reading. Set in the Cape Fear River valley during a time in which many of us grew up, the story tells of one woman's life from the perspective of her only son, a high school upperclassman. It's a timeless tale, dealing with edgy subject matter without becoming morbid. I've read other first hand accounts of family members coping with terminal illness, and lived through it personally, as well. The story is well developed and keeps your attention from the opening chapter until the last.

The Time Keeper (January 31, 2006)
Kimberly Brisson (Hope Mills, NC)
The Time Keeper was an easy read, that captured me from the very beginning. I usually find it hard to finish a book if it does not grab my attention during the first few pages. I actually finished this book the second night after beginning it. The Time Keeper touches on points between parents and their children that I'm sure many people can relate to. Having a teenaged son myself, I could relate to the feelings that Mr. Cropp so vividly described. It was truly the first book I've ever read that made me cry, not only once, but several times. I would highly recommend this book, and I look forward to future books from this author.

A great story about a son and his mother. (January 31, 2006)
Michael B. (Hope Mills, NC)
The Time Keeper by Kevin E. Cropp is a great story about a son and his mother. It is written in a way that you can't wait to read the next page. I would recommend it as a must read to any one who likes am emotional story.

Moving Novel by Amazing New Author . . . (January 31, 2006)
Dide Martens (Chicago, IL)
Kevin Cropp's first novel is touching on many different levels, but it's his uncanny use of imagery that stays with you long after you have returned this book to the shelf. The evocative images and questions he raises reach into the far corners of your mind and into the depths of your soul. I applaud his first work and look forward to many more.

A Good Story. (January 23, 2006)
Tommy Worth (Charlotte, NC)
I will tell you one thing, the character development of both the boy and Linda was wonderful. I have read more books than you can possibly imagine and I have rarely felt so in touch with characters. I really felt like I knew them. Additionally, the range of emotion I felt for the mother was extraordinary. I would have gladly thrown her out a window at first and became so endeared to her at the end. Areas of improvement would be some explanation of why she took out such hatred on her son. He didn't cause the cancer and had she treated her husband equally badly, then it would have been more easy to accept. Her's was son-centered, which was grossly unjust and unfair. You kind of see this resentment in people who blame someone else for their predicament or, like in the case of a teenage mother feeling like she lost her youth, blaming the child they birthed. Kevin Cropp has a very unique gift of being a wordsmith. Some of his sentence structure and descriptions were excellent. I cried harder at the end of The Time Keeper than any book I have ever read. I became so cognizant of my mortality and the shortcomings of my own parental relationships.

Highly Recommended (January 22, 2006)
Henry A. Turlington (Raleigh, NC)
The Time Keeper, by Kevin Cropp, is an excellent book about a young man's struggles with life at young age and how he grows from these experiences. I recommend it to readers young and old.

Emotional Journey of Life (January 20, 2006)
Kristin Snyder Kash (Raleigh, NC)
This book takes you on an emotional journey. The highs the lows and the places in between. This is one trip you must go on!

Complicated... (January 19, 2006)
Leigh Gates (Wilmington, NC)
Kevin Cropp's book, The Time Keeper, is deeply touching. Everyone can relate to his story; although, no one has walked in his shoes. This story depicts the unconditional love between parent and child. In one poignant chapter, Kevin graphically describes the lengths a child will go to express this love. That scene is forever etched in my mind. Thank you for the experience, Kevin.

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