Published by MacAdam/Cage on July 5th 2003
Challenge Theme: A book about time travel
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Audrey Niffenegger’s innovative debut, The Time Traveler’s Wife, is the story of Clare, a beautiful art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity in his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing.
The Time Traveler’s Wife depicts the effects of time travel on Henry and Clare’s marriage and their passionate love for each other as the story unfolds from both points of view. Clare and Henry attempt to live normal lives, pursuing familiar goals—steady jobs, good friends, children of their own. All of this is threatened by something they can neither prevent nor control, making their story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.
I have mixed feelings about this book. I will start with the pros: I loved Clare & Henry’s love story. I loved parts of the book where only one character had experienced something and I knew I would get the other character’s perspective of it eventually, that made me want to keep reading. I loved all the individual characters with the exception of Gomez, I found him to be irritating. Lastly I loved the time travel aspect of the book.
Now for the cons: It was WAY longer than necessary. There were many details that were pointless to the story that should have been cut out (and probably were for the movie.) It got very confusing at times. I found myself having to flip backwards in the book to figure out where the heck I was and what was going on. The first half really hooked me but the second half felt like it dragged on and on. I also was not a fan of the ending, not necessarily what happened but how it happened.
All in all I would give this book a 3.5. Didn’t hate it but didn’t love it. Was just OK for me.
“Don’t you think it’s better to be extremely happy for a short while, even if you lose it, than to be just okay for your whole life?”
“We laugh and laugh, and nothing can ever be sad, no one can be lost, or dead, or far away: right now we are here, and nothing can mar our perfection, or steal the joy of this perfect moment.”
“I wish for a moment that time would lift me out of this day, and into some more benign one. But then I feel guilty for wanting to avoid the sadness; dead people need us to remember them, even if it eats us, even if all we can do is say “I’m sorry” until it is as meaningless air.”
“I place my hands over her ears and tip her head back, and kiss her, and try to put my heart into hers, for safekeeping, in case I lose it again.”
“Love the world and yourself in it, move through it as though it offers no resistance, as though the world is your natural element.”
“Time is priceless, but it’s free. You can’t own it, you can use it. You can spend it. But you can’t keep it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.”