Before you ask, no, this was not the first time I’ve read this book and yes, I probably should’ve devoted the time to reading something new, but I can’t help it! I just LOVE THIS BOOK so much! It’s almost to hard to describe why, but if its important enough to read more than once, it’s sure as hell important enough to try and describe!
The Time Traveler’s Wife is a love story spanning the lives of Claire Abshire and Henry DeTamble. But as if they don’t have enough to worry about (as all couples occasionally do) Henry is also a time traveler, who in his later years – after he and Claire marry – goes back in time to visit his wife as a child. Claire, however, doesn’t time travel and thus lives her life lineraly, with Henry jumping back and forth. It’s at times saddening, at times thrilling, and always working towards what is established early on as a less than happy ending.
This is perhaps the thing that I love most about this book. While I’ll never turn up my nose at a love story, its entirely too difficult to find one that makes love real. Not sweeping, not always romantic, not always well spoken, and never always easy. Henry is flawed – he can be stubborn, sullen, and a little controlling. And Claire isn’t perfect either – headstrong, a little selfish, perhaps with a few too many regrets. But that’s what makes the love between them so powerful. It not only spans time and separation, but the flaws of both people.
Another thing I loved about this book is that Henry and Claire live the life I could see myself living one day (granted without the time traveling). They’re artists and librarians respectively, and their best friends are fellow artists and anarchists. They recite German and French poetry, know the names of famous artists and discuss foreign affairs the way that only those born of a higher education can. It’s a world of academia, and the book opens that world up, if only for a second.
Don’t get me wrong. This book isn’t necessarily all that easy at times. While straightforward in its language, the concept of time travel, and the trying to wrap your head around how Henry can be simultaneously 42 and 12 while Claire is 19 and hasn’t technically met Henry can most definitely give one a bit of a headache. But its worth it. For the writing, yes, but more importantly for the two amazing characters who welcome the reader in to their lives, as messy and disrupted those lives may be.
As you can see, my love for this book is quite possibly never ending, and is renewed with each new reading. PLEASE read it. You won’t regret it.