Tom has been alive for 400 years and is still asking himself "what it is we live for"? And one of the reasons he is still asking that question after 400 years is given in an explanation that I adored early on in the book. It also shows the imagination of the author; "There were many times I had lost all hope in my search. A search not just for a lost person, but for that other thing I had lost- meaning. For a point. It occurred to me that human beings didn't live beyond a hundred because they simply weren't up for it. Psychologically, I mean. You kind of ran out. There wasn't enough self to keep going. You grew too bored of your own mind. Of the way life repeated itself. How, after a while, there wasn't a smile or gesture that you hadn't seen before."
The character of Tom is someone I really liked and enjoyed spending hundreds of his years with. And the fact that he was a history teacher in a contemporary classroom of high school students was sublime and just plain fun.
All that being said I was disappointed by the ending. It took a path that kept tripping me up.
This is a well paced book, easy to glide through, enjoyable and perfect for reading after a heavy hitter like The Overstory by Richard Powers.