Denseman on the Rattis

Formerly known as the Widmann Blog


How to monopolise a woman

Possibly the first present Phyllis ever gave me was Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife.

I tried to read it when she gave me it, but I got stuck twenty pages in.

Recently I tried again, and soon after the spot where I got stuck last time it starts flowing well, and it was a thoroughly enjoyable read.

Don’t read the rest of this posting if you haven’t read the book and intend to!

I must say the whole book troubled me, though, especially the ending.

I mean, Henry only meets Clare when he’s 28, and before then he doesn’t care about her. He would claim he didn’t know about her, but of course his older self could have told him about her if he had wanted to, but he preferred to live a wild life with plenty of women until 28.

On the other hand, he doesn’t let her develop in her own way. He doesn’t spend enough time with her as a teenager to fulfill the role a boyfriend would normally have played, but he turns up just often enough to prevent her from moving on.

Then, before he died, he could have decided to visit her often in the future, or he could have decided to leave her alone so that she could fall in love with somebody else. But does he do either? No, he leaves her alone for fifty years and only then visits her, and he lets her know before he dies that he’ll see her again before she dies, so that she can’t let go.

As far as I can see, he’s an egocentric preying on a nice girl who deserved better, but it’s a good book anyway.

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