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The Time Traveler’s Wife

I’d love to say I hated it. So many people told me I would love it, and I usually rebel when that happens, and refuse to give it a chance. (ie Harry Potter. Don’t yell at me. And don’t try to cajole, it’s not going to happen).

But I’d be lying. The masses were right. I picked it up at 3pm yesterday and put it down two minutes ago. Devoured it. Wrapped myself inside it. Couldn’t wait to turn the next page.

I admit, some of it went right over my head. I had to stop and think about the logistics for a while. I would say I am far beyond a sceptic about time travel – I believe it’s absolutely impossible. The book didn’t convince me otherwise, but it certainly addressed some of the issues such a thing would present. Henry and Clare’s attempts to lead normal lives around his propensity for disappearing abruptly show just how impossible it would be.

Beyond the plot and the characters, (it’s rare for me to really like characters, as the book club girls know, and I ended up feeling a deep comfort with both of them), Audrey Niffenegger’s writing is simple, capitivating, and magic. And, it would appear, totally original. (I hate her, why didn’t I think of it? haha).

And the love between Henry and Clare is – cough – timeless. Seriously, I am not a big one for romance (I like to think I’m a realist. Hmm). But how can you not be touched by them? By her waiting, her patience, her acceptance. By his waiting, his desperation always to get back to her, their last moments together?

Similar to The French Lieutenant’s Woman, each section is introduced with a poem or two. I think the very first one is my favourite.

  Love After Love
 
 
  The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

     Derek Walcott

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About writehandedgirl

Sarah is a writer who is passionate about social justice, feminism, politics, and cats. She is a columnist and poet and currently lives in Nelson. You can follow Sarah on Twitter (@writehandedgirl) or read more of her writing at writehanded.org

Discussion

One thought on “The Time Traveler’s Wife

  1. An interesting review. While I really enjoyed reading TTTW a few years ago, there were parts of it that left me scratching my head. I still don’t understand why Henry had to lose his feet! Yes, I know he went running barefoot and got frostbite, but that was pretty radical. I didn’t come away with a feeling of empathy for the characters, although I warmed to the long-suffering Clare. Concentrating on some of the time changes also meant that I needed to keep alert, instead of just ploughing on through. I haven’t read anything else by Niffenegger but would be keen to give it a whirl just to see what else she comes up with.

    Posted by Cafe Chick | May 13, 2009, 10:52 pm

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