This week I accomplished a couple personal goals:
1. I finally sent in my application to the MFA in Creative Writing program
That was huge, stressful, and time consuming. And now comes my least favorite part, the oh-my-God-I-hope-I-did-that-right-can’t-change-it-now waiting. I’m nervous, but I really worked hard on that application. Y’all remember that “novel excerpt” I posted? That’s now a self-contained short story. Do you guys want to see it? Let me know in the comments!
2. I finished The Time Traveler’s Wife
And now it’s time to review it! So without further ado…
I’m sure many of you have seen the movie, Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams were amazing for sure. I have NEVER cried so hard in a movie before in my life (granted it might have been more than the movie, but that’s a different story). But the book is a pretty different animal.
Clare Abshire met her husband at a very young age, 6 to be exact. She’s playing in a field one day and he appeared out of no where, naked, and 41 years old. That’s because Clare’s husband is different, he’s a time traveler. Henry DeTamble bounces around in time, but it’s not exactly a super power. He has no control over when it happens, where he goes, or for how long. He has to lie, cheat, and steal to survive most of his excursions, and Clare spends her entire life waiting for when he might appear.
Although the story is told from both of their perspectives, the main arc of the plot follows Clare–primarily because she moves linearly through time. She anchors the story the same way she anchors Henry. Although he has no control of his time traveling, there are certain people/events that act like magnets drawing him toward them in time, like the site of the car accident that killed his mother or anywhere Clare is.
The story is very romantic, to be sure. And it brings up questions of destiny and free will without being overly philosophical about them, which I loved. Henry’s entire existence is like a chicken-or-the-egg argument, did he travel back in time to Clare because they met and fell in love? Or did they meet and fall in love because he traveled back in time? Did Clare ever really have the choice of being with Henry or was it predetermined by some higher power?
I also really enjoyed the author’s treatment of time. Unlike Back to the Future, time in this story is not one big circle. Everything that has happened, is happening, or will happen takes place simultaneously. It’s less like Henry is living his life and more like he’s putting it together lik a jigsaw puzzle. Every trip through time brings him a new piece.
The book is a lot darker than the movie, the ending is a lot less Hollywood. Instead of Henry reappearing to Clare while she’s still young and pretty, she’s left waiting for him until she is 82 years old. And she doesn’t do like he instructs and have a full and happy life in the meanwhile, she waits because she doesn’t know how to do anything else but wait for Henry. I can’t say that I liked this ending. I felt sorry for Clare through out the whole book, she seemed trapped in this crazy limbo with Henry with no real explanation as to why it was her out of every other girl in the world. Although, I guess if you grow up with the expectation that this is what your life will be, you wouldn’t really complain.
Overall, I’d say it was an ok book. Really interesting premise, fully developed and realistic characters, complex structure and plot, but ultimately very easy for me to walk away from. I don’t know what it was, but it was way too easy for me to put this book down. Maybe it was because I saw the movie first, so I knew essentially what was going to happen, but I kept finding myself skimming ahead instead of fully reading each page.
My overall rating for The Time Traveler’s Wife: 3 stars
Disagree with me, or think I missed something? I’d love to hear about it! If you haven’t read it, don’t take my word for it! Read it for yourself and tell me what you think!
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