Friday, October 21, 2016

The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

The Time Traveler's Wife
Title: The Time Traveler's Wife
Author: Audry Niffenegger
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 500
Genre: Fantasy / Romance / Fiction
How I Found It: I bought it at a library book sale ages ago, plus I think I've seen the movie at some point.
Date Completed: 9/19/16

Summary: Henry and Clare do not have a traditional relationship. It's hard to when Henry's experience of time is extremely irregular. He never knows when he'll simply disappear to another time or how long it will be until he comes back. 

What I Thought: This book was very popular back around the time it came out. I was in high school then and never got around to reading it. I saw the movie at some point (which was lovely and I wouldn't mind seeing again now that I've read the book), but I am so glad to be reading this story now and not as a teenager. I feel a much greater appreciation for the complexities of Henry and Clare's life as a married adult than I ever could have back then.

This is a love story. There is no doubt about it. The idea of two people being connected across time and space is terribly romantic. Niffenegger does a lovely job of exploring the logistics of such a relationship, but she also does not sacrifice the depths of emotions one expects in a romance. 

While the terror of Henry's situation certainly keeps the book moving and interesting, it's Clare with whom I find myself much more intrigued. While Henry is flitting through time, often fighting for survival, Clare is left with more questions than answers, despite being the one who has to present a picture of normalcy to the world. In some ways, I see her as similar to a military or spy wife; she waits at home hoping for the best while simultaneously having to go about life as though nothing were strange or wrong.

That idea really helped me to connect to Clare. While I do not go through anything like she or military wives go through, I am a worrier. The idea of Kevin simply disappearing randomly and possibly being in danger would terrify me. I would never handle it with as much grace or sanity as Clare does in the book.

It seems somehow appropriate to be sharing this book today. Yesterday Kevin and I celebrated four years of marriage. So, to talk today about this book, in which the marriage relationship is so central, feels right. I understand better than ever now that marriage is hard, even with you don't have a time traveling spouse. But it's a good hard. The work is rewarding and worthwhile and I'm so happy to be doing it. This story was a nice reminder of that.

Rating: ★★★★☆
Will I Re-Read: Probably not - I'd like to watch the movie again, though
If You Liked This, Try: The Royal We / Fates and Furies / Landline

A Reduced Review: A love story both sweet and sad; I enjoyed this one more than I thought I would.

1 comment:

  1. I read this book in high school, and for some reason, I've had it on my mind all year. I'd love to reread it soon.