Clare first meets Henry when she is six and he is thirty-six; Henry first meets Clare when he is twenty-eight and she is twenty. As a time traveler, l...moreClare first meets Henry when she is six and he is thirty-six; Henry first meets Clare when he is twenty-eight and she is twenty. As a time traveler, life is not linear for Henry. Instead, he zig-zags. Yet, at the same time, there is balance and order to his existence, too... at least, when he has Clare. Before Clare, he lives moment to moment without purpose, without grounding; after Henry, she waits, in the dark, for time to bend itself just once more and return to her the man she loves. Clare's life is static, Henry's life is chaotic, but, together, their existence as one becomes a nearly continuous loop. It is as though time recognizes their need, their devotion, their desperation to be together and bends to accommodate their love – bends but does not break. As Henry says, time is nothing; as Clare lives, time is everything.
While one could get bogged down in the science of The Time Traveler's Wife – after all, most tales of time travel employ the butterfly effect principle, whereas Niffenegger's allows for the past, the present, and the future to meet, to dance together seamlessly for brief moments, in the end, it is meaningless. The chromosomes, the genes, and the displacement are empty in comparison to their results. Time traveling, in this book, serves as a mere tool. The real story is Clare's love for Henry and Henry's love for Clare; the real story is the life they shared together no matter how unconventional, or magical, or, in a way, terrifyingly beautiful.
It's also a story of four riveting characters. Henry, whose mind is fascinating, is someone I don't think I'd ever tire of just talking to. I want to go record shopping with him. I want to listen to him recite poetry... even if its in a language I do not understand. Then there is Clare: gracious, warm, effervescent Clare who sees the beauty in everything and everyone. Wouldn't it be amazing to look at the world through her eyes? Next, there's Alba. She's Henry's intelligence and Clare's heart braided together into hope and courage personified. And, finally, there is time itself. It looms in the background, haunting the story – the villain and the hero all at once, the puppet master whose creations, no matter how hard they try, cannot escape the tethers of their strings. It is Henry. It is Clare. It is Alba. It is us. It is unbiased and subjective. It is love, and it is hate. It is life; it is death. Time is what we make of it, and perhaps no other character has ever expressed that more clearly, more candidly than the time traveler's wife.(less)
Cannie Shapiro is a successful woman with friends, a family, and a promising career. Recently single – by choice, her entire world is rocked to its ve...moreCannie Shapiro is a successful woman with friends, a family, and a promising career. Recently single – by choice, her entire world is rocked to its very foundation when her ex publishes an article in a popular ladies' magazine entitled 'Loving a Plus-Sized Woman.' Afterwards, Cannie goes from wanting to be single, to wanting revenge, to wanting her ex, Bruce, back. Eventually, new friends and new experiences, career successes, motherhood, and learning to not only fall in love again but to also love herself change Cannie; she learns to love her plus-sized self.
Before her ex's article was published, Cannie lived her life trying to hide from and deny her size, but, afterwards – once she sees the labels in print, her weight comes to define her. While I appreciate Weiner creating a cheeky, beautiful plus-sized character, in Good in Bed, the focus was too heavily centered upon Cannie's weight. Readers weren't allowed to see the rest of her personality or her appearance, and this tunnel characterization eclipsed some of the novel's better aspects – its humor, its witty, snappy dialogue, it's unique voice. Cannie should have been an inspirational character to many readers. Instead, you just end up wanting to shake her and say 'get over it already.' Further hampered by the novel's predictability, Good in Bed is not Weiner's best work.(less)
**spoiler alert** Aislinn has the sight; she can see the fey, but it's imperative that they never find out about her ability. When a member of the fae...more**spoiler alert** Aislinn has the sight; she can see the fey, but it's imperative that they never find out about her ability. When a member of the faery royalty starts to follow her, however, Ash's life spins into very dangerous territory. What Marr does well is describe the fey. Setting a very dark atmosphere by playing upon winter's themes, perfect for suspense, intrigue, and romance, she emphasizes the gravity of the characters' decisions and actions. Unfortunately, not all the characters are entirely likeable, tarnishing the book's relationships. Keenan comes across as too one-dimensional. Granted, his fey status affords him a rightful sense of power and confidence, but, as a romantic lead, this translates into conceit and immaturity, two unattractive qualities. Then, there's Seth whose punk appearance and peculiarities limit his appeal. Overall, the female characters in this novel are more compelling, especially Donia. As the book closes, readers should be left with a glaring question: if there is both a Summer King and Queen, why is there only a Winter Queen; shouldn't she – Donia – have a ruling partner as well?(less)