Dependent Origination

Time Traveller’s Wife

Posted on: September 29, 2008

10/20/2007


i have heard of this book for a couple years. Upon the enthusiastic recommendation from Between mm, i started the hunt for it again a couple months ago. It is so sad when time comes to this type of bestsellers, local public library is so useless as a gazillion of people are on the wait list for the three copies that are forever in someone else’s house. Fortunately, my company is rolling out this product that can pull amazon wish lists and show it to people you want to show and since after one desperate search went futile i put the book onto my wishlist, the guy sitting right next to me lent me his copy. Viola Web 2.0! Before the bubble bursts again, i finally see your value 😉
This is a great love story. The underlying idea of a man randomly time travels is a brilliant plot device. First hundred or so pages i was not into it. I kept asking myself why I am reading this book. It gets really good once I figure out what is going on and Henry and Clare they enter into my life forever.
***********WARNING: SPOILER AHEAD******************
I love this book because it introduces a special type of human that can time travels, albeit out of their own control and then goes on to explore its consequences on life and relationship. Sometimes it is rather funny such as on Henry and Claire’s wedding day a couple Henry’s actually participated. Most others, it describes the despair on being lost in time and having to survive on limited means; it describes the disconnection with present time because of the constant interruptions and disappearances. It is one hell of price to pay for such a genetic disorder.
Everyone says this is a love story and the book is about how love transcends all: life and death. It is a little hard for me to understand this statement. Yes, it is true (and especially cheesy) that Henry gets to visit Claire when she is really old and this dramatic meeting concludes the book. It is certainly fitting to a bestseller love story. However, for me, it is trying too hard. It is like seeing a child prodigy being a professor at a second-tier university; the idea has potential to become something else. Something that can tell us in real life, love is a very complicated thing and every one, practically, moves on and has their own life.
Yes you read it right that I have a little problem with the entire waiting thing. Or to ask a different question why Claire falls in love with Henry. A even more chanllenging one: why Henry falls in love with Claire? He and Ingrid seems a fine pair to me 😉 Claire’s love sounds like coming from a blind faith, without any choices. Henry’s? Practically out of nowhere or should I say coming from the future. The lives of Henry and Claire are so interwined that it is hard to tell what causes what.  Is that why their love is so impressive? Because it comes blindfolding and survives many mishaps miraculously?
Don’t get me wrong. I love the book. I wish it could dig deeper into the feelings of Henry and expand more on the lives of other people such as Gomez and Charisse.  For example, how Henry approache the problem when he knows when and how he is going to die. Most of the details are given on the ensuing events but we never get to read about Henry”s verdict of his life. The underplot of Gomez and Claire is perfunctory. I feel like they are merely lemon wedges to garnish the main entree. Surely Claire knows about this and has emotional storms on this with Gomez or Charisse.
This is an outstanding first novel and a delightful read. It may not be a literary classic. But it gives vivid portraits of family life and leaves the reader (me) with much thinking and mental exercises. It is just that there is so much that is left unsaid and I want to read them! Right now!

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