The Time Traveller’s Wife

>> Thursday, April 15, 2010

This book is an absolute must-read! I was hooked from the first chapter. The Time Traveller’s Wife was written by Audrey Niffenegger. The story revolves around Henry who could time travel (albeit involuntarily - he had no control) and his relationship with his wife Clare, and their attempt to lead a normal life. Clare first met Henry when she was 6 and Henry was 36. Henry first met Clare when he was 28 and Clare was 20. The main premise promises this to be an interesting story - when one can time-travel, the boundary between cause and effect, between what has already happened or not, between what one knows or not, becomes blurred. Examples of new context of the word when that I found amusing: ‘I wake up and I find that he’s gone. He must be elsewhen.’ And ‘When are you from?’ A warning, this book contains illicit scenes that deems it suitable only for mature readers.

Another interesting bit about this book is, because it’s written in a first-person view for both Henry and Clare, at different ages, the author has taken care to write in a such a way as to show how a 6-year old or 12-year old Clare sees things differently compared to say a more grown-up Clare. I’ve always find it interesting (I think I use the word interesting too many times) with this method of writing. Two other good examples are The Harmony Silk Factory by Tash Aw where the story is told from 3 perspectives, and hence the narrative style differs in the three distinct chapters. The other book is Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes, where the protaganist undergo scientific experiments that altered his brain and mind, and this is illustrated indirectly in the first-person narration.

One of the things I learnt (or rather I’m reminded of) is to appreciate my moments more, my here and now. I don’t time travel (duh), but there could still be tendencies to look backward or forward beyond reasonable limits. Not anymore. Here and now. Here and now.

When I really like a book, I usually try to promote it to my family (depending on suitability). To my sister I said: “Nanti saya pinjamkan kat awak, ok?” (not “Awak nak pinjam tak?” hehe, so pushy). She was skeptical. “Hmm.. taste kita tak berapa sama.” I answered, “Don’t worry, it’s a love story! Sure you’ll like it.” When I offerred this book to MHH, he was reluctant “But it’s a love story.” I answered “But this guy time-travels, it’s interesting!” Haha, different pitch for different taste :)

I'm aware that the film made based on this book is out, but I'm not interested to watch it because I already know the story and how it all ends. I'm also aware that Audrey Niffenegger's second book titled Her Fearful Symmetry is already published and THAT - is in my wishlist :)


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