This book was first published in 2003. It is a love story about a man Henry with a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel unpredictably, and about his wife, an artist, who has to cope with his frequent absences and dangerous experiences.
I find that in the beginning the story is quite average, it is only when in the middle that i start to feel very emotional when reading it. In fact, I was quite confused of all the dates forward and backward that was given for Henry’s time travelling.
Clare and Henry marry, but Clare has trouble bringing a pregnancy to term because of the genetic anomaly Henry may presumably be passing on to the fetus. After several miscarriages, Henry wishes to save Clare further pain and has a vasectomy.
However a version of Henry from the past visits Clare one night and they make love; she subsequently gives birth to a daughter, Alba. Alba is diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement as well but, unlike Henry, she has some control over her destinations when she time travels.
Before she is born, Henry travels to the future and meets his ten-year-old daughter on a school field trip and learns that he died when she was five years old. I find this part very touching, it is also quite heartbreaking. I mean how would a person feels if he knows which year will he died?
An extract from the book that I like :
I have been standing in the next gallery, and I take a few steps forward, to look at her, to see her, and she sees me, and her face lights up, and she jumps up, knocks over her little folding chair, and almost before I know it I am holding Alba in my arms, holding her tight, kneeling before her with my arms around her as she says “Daddy,” over and over.
Everyone is gaping at us. The teacher hurries over. She says,”Alba, who is this? Sir, who are you?” “I am Henry DeTamble, Alba’s father.” “He’s my daddy!” The teacher is almost wringing her hands. “Sir, Alba’s father is dead.” I am speechless. But Alba, daughter mine, has a grip on the situation.
“He’s dead,” she tells her teacher. “But he’s not continuously dead.” I find my wits. “It’s kind of hard to explain – ”
“He’s a CDP,” says Alba. “Like me.” This seems to make perfect sense to the teacher although it means nothing to me.
Gosh I really cried when I read the subsequent initial conversation of Henry with his 10 year daughter before she was born. I like this book very much. It is not many times I feel emotional when reading. The other time when i cried while reading “To Kill a Mockingbird”
The Time Traveler’s Wife is being made into a movie. See the trailer below :