Goodness! The concept of this book does my head in. It really is about a man who travels through time, involuntarily, and about the woman he marries, then meets as a girl. About him meeting himself in various time frames, and befriending his parents when he was a baby. Of watching his mother die. Of meeting folk who very obviously know him, and he has no idea who they are.
Of knowing what is going to happen, and trying to keep those terrible secrets to himself, so as to not cause undue anguish.
Published in 2005, and set in the time frame from 1970s to 2010s, it is principally a love story between Henry and Clare, and how they cope (or not) with Henry’s comings and goings. The structure of the book took me a little while to get my head around – it jumps around in time (a lot), and speaks from two perspectives (Henry’s and Clare’s). Fortunately, each section is notated with the actual date, Clare’s age, and Henry’s varying ages. Phew!
Philosophically examining cause and effect, and questioning the predetermined-ness of our fates, the book is also an intriguing study of character, and of how we are shaped by other people and events in our lives. The characters are real and gritty, and it is easy to empathise and to be repulsed by the things they do. There is action, blood and sweat. I found it utterly entertaining and compelling.
Seriously, it’s a hell of a book. Read it.
Published by Vintage, ISBN 0 099 46446 2.