In a well acclaimed, tender, coming of age story, "The Time Traveler's Wife," opens with Claire Abshire, age twenty, and Henry De Tamble, age twenty-eight, accidentally meeting at her library.
Claire immediately recognizes Henry from her past but Henry is at a point of time travel where he hadn't met her yet. He suffers from Chrono-Displacement Disorder and moves through time without control.
Claire is a sweet woman who appears like a special next door neighbor or the girl you fell in love with in the eighth grade. Her love for Henry is intricately described so that the reader knows just what Claire is feeling as she finds her love, as he had promised she would, in the past.
The novel moves back and forth between other times and is told from both character's points of view.
We are also privy to Claire's and Henry's difficulties with time travel. Henry tells us that at one point he sees a young child die in an accident and wishes that he could go back in time so he could warn the child's mother to be careful. However, he has learned that with time travel, he can't change history.
Claire has the difficulty of keeping Henry's appearances secret. When she becomes a teenager, there is also loneliness in the time that Henry is not there and she feels alone and segregated from her friends since she can't tell her friends about Henry.
There is some difficulty in keeping track of the character's ages at the various times they meet since this happens out of sequence in the novel. Later in the story, Henry tells a friend that Claire first met him when she was age six. She met him in 1977 but he first met her in time travel in 1991.
The love story was a pleasure to read about and how the characters overcame the difficulty with time. I felt that there were times when the story seemed to meander but for originality and characters that the reader can feel empathy and fondness for, this was a superior novel.
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