I didn’t feel like I wanted to read a new novel. I’ve been reading a lot of new stuff lately and it’s time to read something new. I recently got my own copy of The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneggerr. I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about this book before but reading a book a second time, you see different things. And I read this originally back in college and then listened to the audiobook right after college when I was traveling to do interviews. So it’s interesting how my opinion is different.
I re-read my GoodReads review. It was interesting look back at myself. I wrote one the first time I read it and then had an update. Each time my opinion of Henry as gotten better. I think in my head, the vision of a time traveling man is different now being in my late 20’s than it is in my early 20’s. No. Let me change that. My view of people has changed since my early 20’s. It’s probably more realistic and less optimistic now than it was a few years ago. Anyway. I think that Henry has a miserable existence. He doesn’t want to travel but he has to. It would be different if he could have chosen when and where he could go like Alba. Then he probably wouldn’t be as miserable. Henry gives Claire things to think about throughout her life and I appreciate that. In this re-read, I took more notice to Henry’s reaction to Ingrid killing herself. He had more compassion for Ingrid than I felt he had before. He is complex but his situation is complex. At this point in my life, I’m the most attracted to Henry that I’ve ever been.
I never have had a driving opinion about Clare. I don’t hate her. I feel like she is very flawed. But so is Henry. Henry is probably more flawed. The older she gets she does have frustrations about Henry traveling. It’s out of her control. It’s out of his control and she hates it. I would be the same way. Give me a husband that doesn’t get lost in time. But at an earlier age she is fascinated because he just appears and disappears. I would be when I was 6. I do appreciate her struggles more. Like I felt for her when her mother died more that I have before. I appreciate her want of a child more than before. This time reading, I appreciate the human-ess of the characters and their flaws. It’s adulthood. I’m finally maturing into adulthood.
Gomez is something else. Charisse has plenty of reason to worry. I would have the exact same conversation with Henry as she did. But the relationships with the DeTambles is something I can’t put my finger on. Gomez has sex with Clare twice. Once pre-Henry and once after Henry dies. The first time I shook my head because it was so close to when Henry comes, I wonder why but Henry was like, yeah I don’t care I had Ingrid. The second time it was because of grief I think. But even though I was not a fan of Clare and Gomez having sex, Gomez and Henry were best friends. So I’m torn. Like at least Clare didn’t find some random hook up and Henry was okay with the first time because it wasn’t an ongoing affair.
There’s probably more obvious symbolism in this book than I have ever admitted. The Odyssey kind of plays in this book. Which I liked and it makes sense and I’m surprised I haven’t thought about this before. Henry leaves and comes back to Clare like Odysseus leaves his wife. I never really realized that before. Then there’s the birds and longing. There’s symbolism throughout the whole book and it’s blatant.
I also have to bring up the movie in relation to the book. Movie is not a great adaptation. There’s a lot missing. Like I wish Ingrid was in the movie and not just a reference. I wish Henry’s job and co-workers were in the movie more. I know that the book is complicated but then don’t make it into a movie if you can’t make it better. But I do love Rachel McAdams and Eric Bana. They’re really pretty together. OH! They should make a mini-series from the book and have those two in it. And I do realize they can’t get all the book in a movie. There’s 500+ pages in this book. There’s no chance that would get in a movie. But I still appreciate the crap out of the movie. I do say appreciate a lot in this blog.
There’s also a sequel in the works that is Alba’s story. I rarely say this but hell am I excited to read that.