Book #3: The Time Traveler’s Wife

Remember how I said I was going to read a series of books based on characters in their twenties and find lessons that can be drawn from them? I didn’t tell you about it? My bad. I could have sworn…

Anyway, that’s what my focus on books has been lately. I know it’s going to be a stretch since characters in novel are only constructed as diferent parts of a writer’s point of view, but it’s a challenge I’m willing to take on anyway. The first book I tackled is The Time Traveler’s Wife. 

Have you ever been hanging out with friends and started playing 20 questions because you ran out of conversation topics and everyone was bored? Prior to this book, my answer to the question, “If you could have any superpower, what would be?”, was always Time Travel or rather, Teleportation. However, after this book, I’m rethinking my desire for a power that would allow me to bend Time at will.

Audrey Niffenegger’s book is a story about a boy and a girl who fall in love. We first meet them in the library, where the boy works and the girl came to check out a book. They meet for the first time. Only it’s not really the first time. At least for Clare (that’s the girl). She’s known Henry since she was a little girl. Don’t be mistaken, this is not a story about childhood friends meeting each other for the first time after many years. You only have to read the title of the book to figure it out.

Henry is a time traveler, or if you want to get technical, a Chrono-Displaced person. He time travels to different stages in his life, which sounds really awesome…only it’s not. He comes and goes against his will and has no control over where he goes…or anything for that matter. He shows up on the other side, naked, often cold, bumping into (sometimes literally) quite uncomfortable situations. That’s how a 30-something Henry meets a 6-year old Clare.

Their love story develops throughout the book, as things get more and more challenging. Certain technical parts were confusing to me, like , the way he could time-travel to meet himself and how sometimes, he could be time-traveling to a place where another version of himself was also time-traveling.

It did prompt a question in my mind that I could use for this little experiment of mine. The book plays a lot with Time, Memory and Knowledge and how they shape a person’s life. Because of Henry’s time-traveling and his relationship with Clare, there were things that Clare knew way before they happened, which greatly affected the way she grew up and how she came to view the world. The 20-something period is so full of uncertainty and fear of the unknown. However, we must continue to take action, preparing for the future even if we don’t know all the details.

Here’s my question: What’s one thing that Christmas You (4 months from now) would be grateful to Present You for having done today? A little wordy, but you get the point.

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5 responses

  1. Interesting that you always wanted to Time Travel as your super power! Strangely that’s one of those powers I was never really interested in, it seemed a bit of a curse – like what if you traveled forward in time and discovered something bad? You would start double guessing everything you did to try and avoid that bad thing happening!

    Nice review, I’ve wanted to read this book for some time and still haven’t gotten around to it!

    1. Yeah, that’s something I didn’t even think about until I read the book. What if I time traveled to a tragic time (against my will) and was forced to watch it happen without being able to do anything about it? That actually happens to the character in the book. I’d love to know what you think if you end up reading it.

  2. […] Book #3: The Time Traveler’s Wife (theshamelessbooknerd.wordpress.com) […]

  3. […] last week when I asked the question “What could Present You do today that Christmastime You would be […]

  4. I’m sure Christmas Me would really appreciate it if I got back on the exercise/focused body movement train. Just doing something everyday…a short yoga sequence, taking a walk with a favorite podcast for company, shaking my hips to a fun dance video. Thanks for the reminder, Shameless Book Nerd!

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