Saturday, February 21, 2009
The Time Traveler's Wife
One of the best novels I've ever read, by Audrey Niffenegger.
Quickie Recap: This is the story of Henry, an honest-to-god time traveller, and Clare, the wife he meets when she's just 6 years old and his travelling has him plopping out of the sky, nude and disoriented, in a field by her family home. Their mind-boggling courtship takes place over all kinds of time and space, and for all the complexities they face, this is also just the story of a boy and a girl and how they fall in love.
Quickie Review: Sigh. I asked for this book for Christmas, and my mother wondered why I would need it since she knew for a fact that I'd already read it (and lent it to her so she could read it too). Having misplaced my last copy, I was desperate not to be without it for long. I told her this: I first read this book at least 5 years ago, and to this day, I still remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I finished it. Hint: completely devastated, I emptied an entire box of kleenex and actually woke someone up with my weeping. My mother nodded, and proceeded to tell me exactly when and where she was when she finished it too, and this is a woman who has to ask the librarian to warn her if she's checking out a book she's already read, and the librarian squeamishly admits that she is attempting to check out at least 2 that she just read last week. The point is, this book is not just memorable but achingly so. It's funny how you can take this incredible situation and boil it down to the struggles of marriage, any marriage, really. But I think the real reason why this book is brilliant is that it's not about the time traveller, it's about his wife. That's where the heart is. Sure time travelling is this crazy, messed up, misunderstood thing, but it's the woman who loves him anyway, loves him knowing and not knowing, loves him the best she can through the most impossible of situations, through her childhood and old age, loves him when he's there and when he's not that really breaks your heart. It breaks mine every time I read it, and that's why you need a copy for your own shelf, because every once in a while, you just want it to take you back.
Quickie Recommendation: Um, I think that's rather obvious.