Disclaimer: To begin things, I’ve posted this rewind a little later to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Why? Because I’m an overly cheesy romantic, and I’m all about timing. Even if it is a day late, I think we are all still feeling the love tonight. Also, there is most definitely spoilers below. Read at your own risk.
There’s something oddly familiar about reading an old book, and I don’t mean rediscovering longed to be re-read pages. It’s similar to the feeling of smelling a candle that brings back childhood memories. That’s how I feel every time I touch the spine and re-open “The Time Traveler’s Wife.”
I got chills reading the first chapter of “The Time Traveler’s Wife,” passages I have read 3 times before. I can only equate it to a feeling of being home. An “oh, there you’ve been” notion, that I’m not sure another book will ever be able to capture. I truly believe I’ve slightly given up on reading books because I don’t think they can capture this magic. That’s partly why I’ve turned to graphic novels because the art and fast pace is the closest I feel to it. This feeling, though, that’s what a favorite book is for, right?
The thing that always draws me into “The Time Traveler’s Wife” is the how deeply integral time travel is to the plot. I know, you are probably thinking, “no dip, Sherlock. It’s literally in the name.” It’s more than that, though. Based on the title alone, this seems like a novel dedicated to a man and a woman and their romance through time travel. Alternatively, it’s about a man named Henry de Tamble, who is burdened by this disease that causes him to time travel. As he ages, he learns that he tends to go to important times in his life, which is what always bring him back to Claire Abshire.
It’s more than love, though. Henry finds himself traveling to times where he interacts with himself, teaches his younger self how to push through and other figures who are important in his life. He discovers that he cannot interfere with time or change things no matter how much he wishes he could.
The other side of the story follows Claire and how she adjusts to loving a man who cannot always be there and finding herself and her style in everyday life. Between wanting a family and wanting to be a successful artist, Claire even struggles with understanding why her lot in life involves a man who travels across time. Yet, she doesn’t want it any other way.
The book divides the two stories by breaking them up into sections, with each character telling a certain part of their lives. As far as books go, it is one of the most realistic love stories, despite being held up with a science-fiction premise. It shows the inner struggles and triumphs of a relationship, family troubles and the value of friendships.
One of my most treasured moments in “The Time Traveler’s Wife” revolves around Claire and her mother’s death. Not only do we see and feel her inner turmoil, we watch as Henry tries to provide the support that Claire needs while also watching his wife crumble in this delicate time. Eventually, she finds a note from her mother and it is a small, tender moment that I think almost anyone can relate with.
Ultimately, the book revolves around these two beautifully flawed humans who find a tenderness in one another and grow together. They are two independent characters and they acknowledge the fact that their lives are more valuable spent together. There comes a time where Claire is on her own without Henry, but that never spells the end of their love story. Like some of my favorite romantic story lines, they built a life together and a love that transcends across time.