Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Blind Eye

I'm 6 years behind, but I just finished "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger.
My sister said the movie wasn't great, but the trailer explains the premise of the book pretty well.

This is less a book review, more of a book club discussion with myself. This book was really amazing...but I have mixed feelings. When you start to write, you start to understand why shows have so much murder and fights and sex. It's entertaining. That's what writers and actors do. They take us to the highest highs and the lowest lows and let us experience situations without having to live with the consequences. I think that can be good and bad. It depends.

Like many avid readers, I disappear into books. I hear nothing, see nothing but the story. And when I pause a story, it's disorienting, so I like to read books all the way through, regardless of the number of pages. But even when I'm done, I get echoes of scenes in my head. So when I read a book where a child dies, I remember how that affected the other characters and hug my kids a little tighter. If the story involves lost love, my gratitude for my husband is renewed.

'The Time  Traveler's Wife' was beautiful. When I was done, I held my children. I kissed my husband. And I thought about who we are becoming. What kind of a person he will be in twenty years? Who will I be? I hope that we will be better than we are now.

But some echoes leave me feeling icky. I wish that there wasn't the scene where Henry is alone with himself in his bedroom and his dad walks in. Thankfully, the writing was vague. Throughout the book, the reader is present in the bedroom with Henry and Clare, but I do not think that the writing was meant to arouse as much as it was to explain how important sex was in the lives of these characters. It was a force of bonding, reconciliation, healing, 'a means to an end' for Clare, and a type of gravity for Henry. Is it not so important in all of our lives?

Do those scenes ruin the book for me? My brain thinks that it should have, yet I still felt uplifted. I'm not sure how that works. If you have characters having sex before they're married, but they've already met when he's thirty-something and they know they're going to get married, is it still as bad? And how much information is TMI?

I really liked the idea that if we could know who our spouses were going to become, we wouldn't mind the wait. So, I'm glad I read most of it. How about you?
Glutton for Punishment?