Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Imagine yourself minding your own business, whether it be looking at books in the library or walking down the street or even sleeping in your own bed. Then, poof! . . . . you are instantly transported to another time and place and you are in the nude!! You have no control over when you transport or where it is you go, but you have the opportunity to see a multitude of things ranging from the 1970s to beyond the year 2000. You have the opportunity to see yourself, those you love, and those that you may have lost. Would you want this little "gift"? Now, imagine that you are married to someone who randomly disappears and is gone for varying lengths of time, never knowing when s/he will return and in the same condition s/he left in. Would you still want this little "gift" to appear?

In The Time Traveler's Wife, Henry is the time traveler and Clare, his wife. They actually meet through time when Clare is only a young child. Henry continues to appear in their meadow throughout time, looking a little different, from younger to older, each visit. Clare knows things about her future that when she finally meets Henry in "real" time that he does not even know. The novel explores how both Clare and Henry cope with his "gift." What's it like to suddenly disappear and reappear throughout time? Who do you choose to share your little secret with and why? What's it like to be in the middle of an embrace with the man you love and next thing you know you are only embracing air?

Niffenegger takes the reader on quite a journey through time as she outlines the relationship between Henry and Clare, through both the good times and the bad. She imaginatively describes what it is like for both Henry and Clare, the changes that they undergo, and the struggles that they endure. Being the first novel she has written, she does an amazing job of capturing the reader through her very creative story. At times, I personally would get a little confused though! I caught myself having to flip back pages to remind myself of what time the characters were in and trying to figure out what happens around that time or on the same date in previous chapters. Overall, it was a very good read, but you must be awake and focused to completely understand it!

Lastly, this book really got me to thinking about time travel! If you could make the choice of when and where you would want to go, what would you choose? Would you choose to go back to the past? Is there a defining moment in your life (either good or bad) that you would continue to relive over and over again? Or, would you rather go into the future and discover what may be in store for you? And, if you chose the future and do not like what you see, would you ever be able to alter that choice in the present to avoid that future self? Personally, I do not know when I would go to! Do I really want to know what is in store for me in the future or would I rather enjoy it (or not) as I go? With that in mind, I really think that I would probably go back in time, but to where, I am not sure! What about you?

Want another opinion?
Park Benches & Bookends

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