Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

A while back (ok, so it was already in July...) I posted a teaser from the Time traveler's wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I had then just started the book. Many of you loved the book, other's just couldn't really get into it. I can see why it might not be everyone's cup of tea but this girl sure loved her cup and ordered seconds.

For some odd reason for which I have no explanation what so ever, I had managed to get the impression that the book is something similar to the Hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy. I have absolutely no idea why on earth did I get that impression. But I really thought I was going to be reading something lighthearted and comic where the character's might end up in some embarrasing situations but would be saved in the nick of time. Well, as all of you who have already read the book know, the book actually is quite dark in many places and time traveling is not all fun and games (as I wrongly expected). Due to the misconception the book's true character took me a bit by surprise and made me like it more than I would've if I'd actually bothered reading the blurb and a few reviews before I got started. I do think that book's that surprise you are often the best ones.

ii had commented that she preferred the first part over the second. I have to say that even though the second part was a lot darker and sadder it was the second part that made me really love the book. (Confession: I cried through the last pages.) The horrible weight Henry had to bear of knowing how and when the end will come was heart breaking. And Clare's struggle to get pregnant, dreading the moment when it would all fail again. It was just so gut wrenchingly sad and tragic. I guess the book suited my foul fall mood quite perfectly...

I did like the approach that time traveling was considered as a disease instead of something fun and science fictiony (what I expected from the book). It was something potentially very dangerous and at the least inconvenient, that Henry had to learn to live with. Like a terminal illness, the bad parts of it grew and grew as he became older and he had to learn to accept that it would all come to an end at some point. To me, this way of looking at it was far more interesting than making it into something funny and enviable. Many people think that it would be nice to visit some of the moments in your past or know what's going to happen in the future. In this book the good parts were there, but it also showed the other side of the winning lottery ticket. All the hours Clare would wait for Henry to return, the awkward moments of appearing somewhere not knowing where and when you are, getting beat up, freezing in the cold, seeing your loved ones die over and over again, the burden of knowing and not being able to do anything about it. Made me think how lucky we are in not knowing.

So if you're in a mood for something not too heavy, yet somewhat sad but beautiful, this one's for you. No y'all go ahead and let me know what you thought of the book!

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