Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Time Traveler's Wife Review

After weeks of neglecting my dutiful task to read for pleasure (note the paradox), I finally finished reading a book which I borrowed from the library. It’s called The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger. It tells an unusual tale of a couple whose love endures and conquers over time as one of the partners is an involuntary time traveler. You might think, same old, same old. Many books and movies have dealt with the same theme of the “victory of love over time”, but in my opinion, none of them has made this topic as brilliant, exciting, and insightful as this book has done.

One of the most intriguing things about this book is that it leaves the readers a sense there is more to love than love itself. Henry DeTamble and Clare Abshire have the most extraordinary relationship ever as Henry’s uncontrollable time traveling bars them from having a typical romance. This caused problems that challenge the strength of their love for each other, one of which being fear of the known – and the unknown, for that matter. I do not wish to spoil the story of the book, but there are many scenes which describes how Claire, as a child and teenager, already knows that Henry is her future husband due to the fact that he frequently goes time traveling to Claire’s youthful epoch. Along with many other scenes, this book demonstrates how love prevails over factors that seem to be beyond of our grasps - factors such as age, death, and time. Such idea gives readers a new perception on love which is different from that of what they normally perceive. However, as imaginative and enchanting as the story might be, I believe this book also handles love realistically. The author did not attempt to avoid conflicts that may arise from relationships; in fact, Henry and Claire’s relationship contains flaws that are far from the concept of perfect love. There is a time when one of them cheats on the other; there are times when dishonesty and hidden secrets are discovered from each other. Nonetheless, they struggle and persevere to overcome their faults, which develop their love and further emphasize the mentioned theme above.

Although this is a fictional tale (as I am sure none of you are able to time travel), the foundation regarding love remains universal for all of us. What we can relate to and learn from this book is that we should try our best to love everyone unconditionally, looking past their differences, weaknesses, and faults, and to help improve them through the means of supporting their virtues and strengths. It is hard, and sometimes it feels impossible to do so. But imagine a world without a single shred of love; can anyone survive in such a world? For those love skeptics out there that doubt the book and my opinion of it, yes, I agree that love is not as triumphant or glorious as it sounds like in most stories, but each and every one of us should strive anyway to love other people with our utmost efforts.

Thus I encourage you all to read this book, particularly girls who are usually interested in romantic novels. For those of you who are wondering the style of which the book is written in, all I can say is that it is beautifully written, with flowing, poignant words that will really set your imagination working wonderfully. Trust my words for it. =)


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