Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife

I loved the novel The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. If you haven't read it you may have at least heard of it as it was a Best Seller and received quite a bit of acclaim when it was first published in 2003. It's hard to really narrow down the intricate story into a brief synopsis, but here is one I really like from Publisher's Weekly:

Henry De Tamble is a Chicago librarian with "Chrono Displacement" disorder; at random times, he suddenly disappears without warning and finds himself in the past or future, usually at a time or place of importance in his life. This leads to some wonderful paradoxes. From his point of view, he first met his wife, Clare, when he was 28 and she was 20. She ran up to him exclaiming that she'd known him all her life. He, however, had never seen her before. But when he reaches his 40s, already married to Clare, he suddenly finds himself time travelling to Clare's childhood and meeting her as a 6-year-old. The book alternates between Henry and Clare's points of view, and so does the narration. In the Clare narration it expresses the longing of the one always left behind, the frustrations of their unusual lifestyle, and above all, her overriding love for Henry. In the Henry perspective it evokes the fear of a man who never knows where or when he'll turn up, and his gratitude at having Clare, whose love is his anchor.

The style of Traveller is very cleverly written un-chronologically and the reader has to piece the story together. On top of that, it is also just beautifully written and the whole story is shadowed by an overwhelming and tender sense of mystery and the idea that love is ... more, than even time can control. It is a classic, What Came First, the Chicken or the Egg situation- how can Henry and Clare's initial meeting be explained when it happened in two different times? Destiny? Certainly there are some sappy moments, as with any story involving romance, but I definitely wouldn't define the book as sappy on the whole. It's bittersweet, timeless and haunting, while at the same time being very real and gritty and complicated. It's not just for the ladies ;)

A movie version of The Time Traveller's Wife is coming out in theaters August 14th and I am very excited about it. I am thrilled by the actors chosen to play the parts of Henry and Clare- Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams. the book is rather long so I am anticipating that they will have to cut quite a bit out, and I hope that doesn't effect how thought-provoking and intimate the material is. I am very interested to see if it follows the jumpy, non-chronological storytelling style of the novel and I am eager to see this sweeping, poignant romance brought to life.


emily said...

all I have to say is WOW. And also WOW. And did I mention, W-O-W.

Morgan, Susan , Steve , Hunter said...

I loved the book, too...Hurray that there will be a movie! It looks good. But will we feel sad after watching it?