Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Book Club - Time Travelers Wife

I love, LOVE LOVE to read. Always have, hope I always will. For the past few years I have been reading away. Some good, most horrible. Then it hit me. Everyone has at least 3 unforgetable books that they love...why not spam 'em and collect them. So i did and my horrible book days are now over. However shortly after, I then longed to discuss them. I loved lit classes in school and though peter and I try and share a book or two, we always read one after the other and have yet, to suck it up and purchase 2 of the same book. Its just seems silly...but i guess the argument could then be make for librarys...i digress.

Suburban me created a book club. Of people from work, a friend of a friend and strangers from the net. We've only met once, but I really enjoy reading with purpose again.

This month we chose 'Time Travelers Wife' by Audrey Niffenegger. Its good. I won't say its great, but at times I do laugh out loud and my heart soars and sinks with the characters. Great to me makes me want to change my world. Virgin Blue - i spent days searching for villa's in Provance, Like Water for Chocolate - I began to write my memoirs and dream of family recipes to include. (That was until I realized that those same family recipies topped off at burnt toast and butter.)

Alas, my own little question and answer section...
1. In The Time Traveler's Wife , the characters meet each other at various times during their lifetime. How does the author keep all the timelines in order and "on time"?

I like the way AN keeps up processing though the here and now...for the most part the story is told by clare's timeline. Having some sort of constant is needed in such a confusing story line. I can appreciate how difficult this must have been to weave. For the book is like a treasure map. You learn as you go, sometimes having to return and take a few steps back, but in the end, you knew what you were going to get, but somehow...it seems like more now.

2. Although Henry does the time traveling, Clare is equally impacted. How does she cope with his journeys and does she ultimately accept them?

I think clares acceptance is similar to that of most women today. I and my husband travel for work on a regular basis and he more often to visit his children. Though neither of us have returned battered phyisically, the emotial flux of being apart without the ability to return to the arms that love you can be quite painful. In addition, the battering that is done on the soul, while apart for what ever reason is painful when faced with it on your own. By not being able to convey the thoughts / feelings of the days missed and the consequesnces of the actions taken while away, I in part feel like I have time traveled over a portion of our lives which can never be returned to me.

3. How does the writer introduce the reader to the concept of time travel as a realistic occurrence? Does she succeed?

I can appreciated AN attempt at making the concept of time travel realistic, however for me...it was unecessary and kinda silly. With her writing i was easily able to be absorbed and didn't care how it happened or why ~ i just enjoyed that it did. However, that being said, the first question peter asked when I told him that it was about a man that traveled through time to visit his wife was...how's he do it?

4. Henry's life is disrupted on multiple levels by spontaneous time travel. How does his career as a librarian offset his tumultuous disappearances? Why does that job appeal to Henry?

5. Henry and Clare know each other for years before they fall in love as adults. How does Clare cope with the knowledge that at a young age she knows that Henry is the man she will eventually marry?

6. The Time Traveler's Wife is ultimately an enduring love story. What trials and tribulations do Henry and Clare face that are the same as or different from other "normal" relationships?

7. How does their desire for a child affect their relationship?

8. The book is told from both Henry and Clare's perspectives. What does this add to the story?

9. Do you think the ending of the novel is satisfactory?

10. Though history there have been dozens of mediums used for time travel in literature. Please cite examples and compare The Time Traveler's Wife to the ones with which you are familiar.

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