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I Stopped Time


‘Touching, exciting, romantic and tender, this novel shines in the deft hands of its author.’ Compulsion Reads

I Stopped Time is a SELF-e Top Book two years in a row! (Top 10 2015 and a Top Book 2016)

What if the villain of your childhood turned out to be someone really rather extraordinary?

Edwardian Brighton. A wide-eyed girl enters Mr Parker’s photographic studio and receives her first lesson about the new medium that will shape her life: “Can you think of a really good memory? Perhaps you can see it when you close your eyes. Now think how much better it would be if you could take it out and look at whenever you wanted to!”

2009: Disgraced politician Sir James Hastings is resigned to living out his retirement in a secluded Surrey village. He is unmoved when he learns his mother has died at the age of 108. In his mind, he buried her long ago after she abandoned him as a child. Brought up by his father, a charismatic war-hero turned racing-driver, the young James, torn between self-blame and longing, eventually dismissed her as the ‘villain’ of his childhood.

His inheritance is her life’s work – a photography collection spanning six decades. Young student Jenny Jones is curious, and together they explore the pictures, seeing the world through his mother’s lens. The camera reveals an extraordinary tale of courage and sacrifice, and James confronts the realisation that his version of the past is not even half the story.

A beautifully written journey across a century of change as one man reassembles his own family history.

Praise for I Stopped Time: 

‘Jane Davis … has taken an entire century and covered it with the richness of her characterisation, presenting a family that is beautifully flawed, brimming with affection, and inimitably human.’ J Metcalf, book blogger

‘An emotional and expertly crafted book that beautifully details how the sometimes misunderstood decisions of the past can both haunt and illuminate us in the present, I Stopped Time is a powerful read I highly recommend.’ Lorraine Wilke, Goodreads

‘I could really smell the salty sea air and hear the waves rolling in over the pebbles.’ Jemma Bastable

‘This book is utterly compelling, carefully blending together the stories of a mother and son to create a family history running through the twentieth century.’ Amazon reviewer, Melissa

I was hooked from the first page.’ Kathleen Crowley

‘One of the consistently compelling features of Jane Davis’ work is the elegance imbued within her writing style, which makes each title such a sumptuous treat. This is my fifth sojourn into the author’s impressive list of books and I am struck by the breadth of historic and contemporary backdrops, between which Ms Davis seems to move with such consummate ease.’ BurfoBookish

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Questions for bookclubs

Questions for book clubs reading I Stopped Time

Read an interview

I Stopped Time: an interview with Jane Davis

Selected for inclusion in the US Library Catalogue, I Stopped Time was a top 10 read in September 2015

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Endorsed by Awesome Indies and Compulsion Reads

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