Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Time Traveler's Wife

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
5/5 stars

This isn't a book on my 100 for the year list because I read it last year, but I felt that it deserved a write up anyway. I've still been reading books toward the 100 recently but nothing I found interesting enough to blog about so I decided to write about an old favorite.

If this title sounds familiar it's because it was a popular 2009 film starring Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana. I loved the film and when I found out that it was based on a novel I had to get my hands on it. As beautiful as the film was, the book is even better and absolutely worth reading. It's guaranteed to pull at any reader's heartstrings, yet it also has many elements of humor.

As the film does, the story follows the relationship between Clare Abshire and Henry DeTamble over many, many years. Their relationship, while beautiful and interesting to follow, is far from normal. Henry is a time-traveler. I know this may sound way sci-fi and possibly turn people away, but the time traveling is the only out of this world thing that happens in the book. It began when he was almost killed in a car crash at a young age, but instead disappears from the accident and ends up somewhere else. He later learns that he is a time traveler. He can disappear from anywhere, at any time, and end up anywhere else at any time in the past or future. Often, he returns to places or times that are important to him, but he can never control his movements.

Through his travels, Henry meets Clare Abshire, first as a young girl in a meadow, who makes the decision to trust this strange disappearing man and become his friend. Over time, Henry visits Clare at many different ages, as she grows up at normal time. Despite the time differences and inconsistencies they face, Clare and Henry finally meet in the present. both of them at the current age they're supposed to be, and realize that they have fallen in love. They get married (it's not a spoiler, just look at the title haha) and are blissfully happy together...except for the fact that Henry is still disappearing without warning all the time. This becomes even more problematic as the two try to figure out married life and try to have children. However, Clare and Henry's love runs deeper than normal, because their relationship is anything but normal. The trust and love they have for one another is inspiring.

While the overall summary of the novel sounds exactly the same as the film, there are so many more details in the novel than in the film, as is often the case. These details make the story so much better and the love that Henry and Clare share so much more complicated, yet so much more admirable and wonderful. Any romantic will love this novel, sci fi fan or not. It's a great beach-read or anytime read, and definitely a favorite of mine. If you've seen the film, this is a chance to relive the love story while learning even more about it. If you haven't, here's a chance to discover one of the greatest modern love stories.

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