THE TIME TRAVELER’S WIFE – Audrey Niffenegger


It’s hard for me though, to put into words why I love this book so much, because the book contains so much.

On the surface it is the love story of Henry DeTamble and Clair Abshire who have to deal with the fact that Henry is chrono-impaired; he randomly travels through time. This fact is what makes them meet, but also something that’s a very big impact on their relationships.

Underneath that veneer, lies a whole world though. It’s a coming-of-age story, a story about the pain we inflict on our significant others, about the randomness of our world, but also its fate. The story contains side-notes on the painful and loving and beautiful relationships we have with our parents. It is an ode to books, always books and a treatise on longing and patience. A book written more eloquently than any other I have ever read. It’s a thriller and page-turner and romance and literary novel. A book that yields something new every time I read it.

It’s my solace, my book to read when I am happy, my book to read when I am sad. Reading the first lines always makes me feel better and reading the last lines make me sigh because it means the book again has ended. I never want it to end – not in the way it does. But the end is what is supposed to be the end and it is perfect in all its pain.

This book, is a book unlike anything I have read before or after and I still long for the day that I find a book like this again so that I may again have that feeling of encountering it for the first time and being left in awe of the story, the language and the skill of the author. I fear that day may never come and so I’ve read this book again and again and I will read this book again and again and again.

My favourite quote of the book is actually one the is a quote from a poem itself: “had we but world enough and time”. (I am actually considering having this as a tattoo!)

The quote written by the author I love best, is this: “There is only one page left to write on. I will fill it with words of only one syllable. I love. I have loved. I will love.”

And then finally, just because the book also contains so much love for books, my favourite poem in the book:

“The time will come

when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.”

Derek Walcott

Sigh, I just love it!






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