Friday, December 11, 2009

New Loves: "The Time Traveler's Wife"

I have just finished reading "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger. If you are looking for an unconventional love story that still delivers the same emotionality that classic love stories do, then this is a novel for you. The novel tells the story of Henry DeTamble and Clare Abshire, whom Henry meets for the first time as a six year old girl during his time travels. Henry, a librarian, is eight years older than Clare, who is an artist. It follows their journey together in their various stages of life: childhood, teenage years and marriage. It demonstrates not only the amount of effort needed to maintain a marriage but also follows Clare through the difficulty of having her husband leave her for days while he travels through the fabric of time. The novel caters to a lot of tastes as it encompasses love, sex, art, literature and death. The story is unconventional as one about love but as a hopeless romantic, it drew me in immediately after having read the first few chapters. If you are in search of a page-turning novel that will pull strongly at your heartstrings, I definitely recommend "The Time Traveler's Wife."

Spoiler alert (do not read if you have not yet read the novel and are planning on doing so):

I found that Audrey Niffenegger really captures the irony of Henry's time travel, as it all at once saves him from a life of misery and simultaneously leads him to his death. If his time traveling adventures had never led him to Clare, he may have remained a womanizing alcoholic. However, his time with Clare as she grew up saved him from his what seemed to be inescapable demise. On the same note, Henry's time travel leads him to an untimely death, stripping him of the possibility of growing old with Clare and watching his daughter grow up. Henry's time traveling ability is the silver lining of his life, as it both saves him and destroys him. I also love the ending of the novel when Clare and Henry reunite at the end of Clare's life. It seems fitting that he should time travel to the end of her life because although he tells her not to wait for him, it is clear by her reaction that she has done exactly that since his death. I found this story extremely compelling and emotionally engaging. Although I have mixed feelings about seeing the film (I find novels adapted to film are always hit or miss), I do look forward to watching the story on screen.

courtesy of google images:

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