Jan 10, 2005

The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger

Wow, wow, wow...blown away. I may grapple for words during this post because it is hard to find words to fit the feelings I have about this book, but I'll give it a shot. Many times I feel as though I am too critical of books, and that may be the reason for my frequent disappointment. It seems that it is a rare find for me these days when I stumble across a book that totally and completely blows me away, and leaves me thinking about it for days on end. "The Time Traveler's Wife" is such a book. I came to understand that this book is not about time traveling or science fiction or genetics, but about a love that so encapsulates what it means to endure that I found myself weeping for their love at the end. Books don't make me cry, generally. The theme of time is obviously important to the book, but it is what Henry and Clare do with that time that is the core of this story. Their lives intertwine and wrap around each other, and they just KNOW each other. They are conscious of every second they have together, and remain fully aware and present in those seconds, minutes, hours, or days. I see so many people go through the motions of life, without actually experiencing it. The contrast to Henry and Clare that shows those motions of life is Gomez and Charisse. They are with each other by default, and they enter married life, have children, and live comfortably. What does any of that matter when one of them is in love with someone else and the other is content being second choice? Henry and Clare are flawed, but they are real, and their love is one of the most real and raw I have ever seen depicted in fiction. Clare and Henry take turns anchoring the other, they understand that life isn't perfect, but the perfect lies in what they make of the imperfection. I don't think I've really done my feelings justice with this post, but I am still, even now, thinking about this book and its implications for my own life. Savoring moments, anchoring, it, it's good. If you've read it, please post!

1 comment:

plentyo'moxie said...

Man, I really liked this book, too, and I was very interested in reading your take on it, because it already adds to and influences my opinions. I'll be honest and say I was totally annoyed with Clare so many times over, although I think she is the "better" person of Henry and Clare, I expect much more of women than I do of men. But here is my real deal (although again, I totally liked this book): why oh why does she love him? He's not really the most lovable, as depicted, does she love him just because it is her fate to do so? I guess I am laying on my own personality here, I think if it were Inevitable with a capital I that something was going to happen, I would run away from it as best I could. I couldn't stand for my life to already be known like that. And so I'm upset with her for accepting it at face value. And he just isn't good enough for her.

But I appreciate your take on the quality of their love and their ability to be in the moment and appreciate what time they have with each other.