I Stopped Time by Jane Davis
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.
Narrated by Philip Franks and Clare Corbett