I don't think that I would have stumbled upon this book had my friend not recommended it to me. It is a rich and utterly human story of loss, coming oI don't think that I would have stumbled upon this book had my friend not recommended it to me. It is a rich and utterly human story of loss, coming of age and self-discovery. Carrie, the protagonist, is a 23-year old girl who hasn't yet been allowed to spread her wings. When she is considering making a life change, destiny makes it for her. Her boyfriend (now fiance) of 8 years takes a plunge from Clausen's Pier, breaks his neck and becomes a quadriplegic. He cannot move his hands, has no sexual sensitivity and is going through his own sort of depression. She must now struggle between what society says that she must do and her own fears and doubts.
I think that the themes explored in this book are applicable to any living human being. Though we may not have to face this exact scenario, we all have to make difficult decisions in life even when some of those decisions seem to have been already made for us. I was, however, unsatisfied with Carrie's eventual development as a person. I feel that she never fully understood herself as an individual and only understood how she was in relation to a romantic interest. I kept assuming that this would eventually happen, but perhaps it does. We can't expect a full resolution in such a short time span since all of us are always searching for better self-awareness....more
I thoroughly enjoyed this romantic science fiction drama. I actually don't know quite how to categorize it and I would have difficulty explaining portI thoroughly enjoyed this romantic science fiction drama. I actually don't know quite how to categorize it and I would have difficulty explaining portions of it to other people. However, I enjoyed the style of writing and the story. Again, the characters are very human and the author foreshadows tragedy but explores themes of love, destiny, happiness and desire. I did find myself wondering what destiny in fact is and if it is a reality or something that we try to justify as being one. In this love story, Henry, the time traveler meets Clare is real time when he is 28. However, Clare met him when she was 6 and he was in his 30s and already married to her. It is bizarre because the question of whether he forced her destiny upon her-- their life together-- by this interruption in the timeline is never really questioned. In some ways, you have to wonder whether he has in fact deprived her of a normal life. At one point in the story, though, Clare states that she would rather have had perfection for a short period of time in her life than to have only experienced years of mediocrity. This is in line with a lot of my thinking and reminds me of my favorite poem: the lesson of the moth.
i was talking to a moth the other evening he was trying to break into an electric light bulb and fry himself on the wires
why do you fellows pull this stunt i asked him because it is the conventional thing for moths or why if that had been an uncovered candle instead of an electric light bulb you would now be a small unsightly cinder have you no sense
plenty of it he answered but at times we get tired of using it we get bored with the routine and crave beauty and excitement fire is beautiful and we know that if we get too close it will kill us but what does that matter it is better to be happy for a moment and be burned up with beauty than to live a long time and be bored all the while so we wad all our life up into one little roll and then we shoot the roll that is what life is for it is better to be a part of beauty for one instant and then cease to exist than to exist forever and never be a part of beauty our attitude toward life is come easy go easy we are like human beings used to be before they became too civilized to enjoy themselves
and before i could argue him out of his philosophy he went and immolated himself on a patent cigar lighter i do not agree with him myself i would rather have half the happiness and twice the longevity
but at the same time i wish there was something i wanted as badly as he wanted to fry himself
This book had an excessively slow beginning (though I enjoyed portions of it immensely) and it took me a long time to get into it. I think that when IThis book had an excessively slow beginning (though I enjoyed portions of it immensely) and it took me a long time to get into it. I think that when I realized it was a work of historical fiction that my interested was piqued. I found much of this book excruciatingly slow but enjoyed the last 100 pages or so. I only read the entire novel because someone had suggested it for our book club. I am looking forward to having that discussion to see if it improves my opinion of the book....more