Girl meets boy. They flirt, then fall in love. Conflict starts to rise. Either the parents will come between them or the girl 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, an 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 conventional to the point of boredom.
But what if love has to conquer things like time? He leaves when he doesn’t really want to, to somewhere she cannot follow. She waits for his return, always uncertain when, ever anxious as to what’s going on with him. It was a love that’s 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 the future and the past. Clare, his wife, cannot do anything about it except wait, uncertain if the Henry that would come back is the Henry of her present, or the Henry that’s coming either from the past or the future. I read this book four years ago, but still it 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.“