When you read a romance novel, here’s usually how the story goes: Girl meets boy. They flirt and fall in love. Conflicts start to rise. Either the parents come between them or one of the lovers has a fatal disease and is about to die in the end. Or maybe the other party is in love with someone else, and it was, after all, unrequited love for the other. Then they would figure out that love conquers everything. Either one of them dies in the end, but the one left behind will still hold on to the lost love, or they live happily ever after. Typical. It becomes so common to the point of boredom.
But what if love has to conquer things like time? Man disappears when he doesn’t really want to, to an unknown place where his woman cannot follow. She waits for him to come back, always uncertain when, and always anxious about his safety. It was a love that is always waiting, always hoping, just within the reality but most of the time out of reach.
That’s the story of Henry and Clare, the characters of a curious novel, The Time Traveler’s Wife. Suffering from Chrono-Displacement Disorder, Henry involuntary leaves the present time and travels through either the future or the past. Clare, his wife, cannot do anything about it except to wait, uncertain if the Henry that would come back to her is the Henry of her present, or the Henry that’s coming either from the past or the future. There are so many possibilities of Henries that could go back to her. It’s like waiting a surprise, anxiously and excitedly.
I read this book four years ago, but it still fascinates me.
My favorite lines:
Maybe I’m dreaming of you. Maybe you’re dreaming of me; maybe we only exist in each other’s dreams and every morning when we wake up, we forget all about each other.
I like awake worrying that you might disappear and never come back. I lie awake brooding about some of the stuff I sort of half know about in the future. But I have total faith in the idea that we are supposed to be together.