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Rory Book Discussions > The Time Traveler's Wife - SPOILERS

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message 1: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:20PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I'm 120 pages into this book and already I love it. I was on a plane all day today on my way to visit our very own Meghan, so I've had some time to read. I've been kicking myself, though, for not having a pencil with me, because some of these passages are just begging for me to mark them. Now,going back and trying to find them, it's tough.

Some passages that have really stood out so far:

"You know, like telling me that I like coffee with cream and sugar before I hardly even taste it. I mean, how am I going to figure out if that's what I like or if I just like it because you tell me I like it?"

"I feel moderately bad about this whole thing. On the one hand, I am providing myself with urgently required survival skills. Other lessons in this series include Shoplifting, Beating People Up, Picking Locks, Climbing Trees, Driving, Housebreaking, Dumpster Diving, and How to Use Oddball Things Like Venetian Blinds and Garbage Can Lids as Weapons. On the other hand, I'm corrupting my poor innocent little self. I sigh. Somebody's got to do it."

This one's kind of crass but it just cracked me up:
"I now have an erection that is probably tall enough to ride some of the scarier rides at Great America without a parent."

There were so many more, but I can't find them now that I go back to look for them. Now that I have access to a pencil, I will be able to mark them as I read them.

message 2: by Tiffany (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:20PM) (new)

Tiffany I'm about 140 pages into it myself and I'm completely enthralled with this book. Honestly, this probably isn't something I would have read on my own, I was afraid of it being too Science Fiction-y with the time travel thing, but it's amazing and I'm so glad it was chosen.

And I agree Sarah, there are so many great passages - funny ones, touching ones, disturbing ones.

message 3: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:21PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) YES! The most disturbing so far was the scene with his 15-year-old selves. Very strange. It's a question for guys though. Would they if they could?

message 4: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:23PM) (new)

Meghan Just a thought if anyone wants to talk - If you could tell your younger self anything, would you? (I find it interesting that one thinks they would while the other won't.)

message 5: by Alison, the guru of grace (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:23PM) (new)

Alison | 1282 comments Mod
Well, I think about this alot, b/c raising children, I don't want them to repeat my mistakes. However, they need to have their own life experiences--mistakes and all. So, if I could tell my younger self something, would I? No, because that would change my experience as it has been. And I think that's a theme at the heart of most time travel fiction--how one little thing done differently can greatly alter the future. (Remember Back to the Future--the Enchantment Under the Sea dance? Haha). You have to consider that telling your younger self something that you thought might help might actually hurt.

message 6: by brian (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:23PM) (new)

brian   hey everyone...

i've been wanting to read Time Traveler's Wife FOREVER, but i'm moderator of the War & Peace Book Club, so feel it my duty to get through this behemoth (relatively) quickly... realistically, there's just no way i can read the book. :-(

next time around i'm in for sure.

enjoy it!

p.s. - i'm sure Rory's mentioned War and Peace at some point.

message 7: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:23PM) (new)

Meghan That's interesting with the raising kids point. I wonder if we'd even listen to our older selves though. How many kids really listen to their parents? And even if you know something, would it make you change your ways to change the event?

message 8: by Tiffany (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:23PM) (new)

Tiffany I sure as heck didn't listen to my mom. That's kind of a scary thought now that I have my own daughter!

If I got a second chance to go back and change things I'd be afraid that I wouldn't get to where I am now. And I love where I am now. So who knows, maybe I would make all the same mistakes twice.

message 9: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:23PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I would tell my younger self to do better in school. I wonder if I'd listen to Older Me any more than I listened to my parents?

I'd also tell my younger self to get braver and go abroad to study while I was still single. And to gain some independence from my parents.

message 10: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:25PM) (new)

Meghan Okay, I'm only up to Christmas Eve, Two (pg 116). What are people's thoughts so far? What did you think of the whole duct tape to a tree scene? Romantic? Sadistic?

Also, I am really enjoying her writing style. I have been emotionally moved by her subtle but moving scenes (particularly when 9 year old Henry finds out he's all alone [p 54] and when 12 year old Clare thinks she's not his wife [p 70]). I like that these aren't put in big, overly dramatic scenes, but rather placed almost insignificantly yet just as fully fleshed out as if it was dramatically put.

Oh, and how do you like the back-and-forth between Henry and Clare view points? I think this style is what makes some people find it confusing or hard to follow. But do you think a more traditional format would cause the story to lose something?

Sorry for all the questions! I'm just finding this story really interesting and wanting to just chat about it!

message 11: by Brooke (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:25PM) (new)

Brooke oh no you all seem to like it so much and I well...just don't. I'm still giving it a chance b/c I have been wanting to read it. I'm on pg. 60-something and I will try to go on. I've been reading the spoilers in hopes to find something that interests luck yet.

message 12: by Tiffany (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:26PM) (new)

Tiffany It took me a little while to get used to the going back and forth in time and switching between Henry and Clare, but eventually it seemed to clear up for me and I had no trouble getting into it.

message 13: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:26PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Brooke, what don't you like about it, specifically?

message 14: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:26PM) (new)

Meghan So I'm absolutely loving that this book is making me have flashbacks to my youth! Can I just say "Yay" to the Violent Femmes!!

And yes, this is what it's like in this area. The dead corn fields, the cold, the time change...but I had to laugh when she described the sun. Michigan's pretty "gray" in the winter.

Ditto Sarah. I'm interested in your answer too Brooke. Not to gang up on you. I just like hearing what people don't like about a book. That's the fun part of book clubs, when people don't agree.

message 15: by Tiffany (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:26PM) (new)

Tiffany Oh my gosh Meghan - yes, Yay Violent Femmes!! And all the other amazing bands mentioned in this book. I wasn't expecting that at all. LOL

message 16: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:26PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Except that Henry doesn't like Cheap Trick. How can you not like Cheap Trick?

message 17: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:26PM) (new)

Meghan Um, because it's a band called Cheap Trick? heh

But yeah, I was happily surprised the New York Dolls got a mention too! But the Violent Femmes played at my college every year.

message 18: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:26PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Meghan. Embrace the Cheap Trick. They want you to want them.

message 19: by Shannon, the founder of fun (back from sabbatical) (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:26PM) (new)

Shannon | 254 comments Mod
Violent Femmes are awesome live. Fortunately I went to school in the their hometown Milwaukee!!!

message 20: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:27PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Well, I just finished it. I loved it. I feel very... heavy now. I need time to process. But I loved it.

message 21: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:27PM) (new)

Meghan Argh! Now I definitely need to finish this as soon as possible!

message 22: by Jordan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:27PM) (new)

Jordan (jordieheartsbooks) I loved this book. I'm worried and excited about the movie. I loved the concept and the way she presented it. It was a bit confusing at first to figure out what time period you were in and if it was Henry or Clare, but it eventually works itself out. It was very thought-provoking as well. Made you wonder if you would make changes in your life when you went back and saw your younger self. I was also quite upset when he died, because it seemed as though he should be able to stop it. I couldn't imagine being in Clare's shoes knowing that the man you love will die young and that he knows the date.

message 23: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:27PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) You know, I just realized that my comments are showing up on my friends' update feeds. So even if they dont' want to read the spoilers, they will. So I'm going to put my comment down farther and hope that it helps with that problem.
Do you think that maybe Henry's death was a blessing to him, because he felt like his life was over after he lost his feet? I'm not saying all amputees are better off dead, but Henry seemed to completely withdraw into himself after his frostbite. Now, the Henry that visits Alba and the Henry that Clare sees twice is a whole and healthy Henry. It also seemed like the time traveling was killing him anyway; he was getting so thin and aged and his coworkers thought he had cancer or AIDs. Maybe if he hadn't gotten shot, he would have died young anyway.

message 24: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:28PM) (new)

Okay, yep, loved the book. AND the best part is the ending didn't disappoint me like most books I've read lately. (I've loved a book but some how the ending just is so anticlimatic it changes my opinion of the whole book.)

1. I would say the only thing that I could "complain" (but not really) about the book is that she leaves HUGE road signs all through the book that he's going to die. (If anyone is like me and reads the chapter headings, you'd notice that Henry never ages beyond 43, so obviously something huge happens at that time.)

HOWEVER, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE that this is very much like (the tv show) Alias. Where some innocuous scene is actually the WHOLE she-bang. We just don't know it yet until she fills in the gaps. She actually GIVES us the death scene right at the beginning, and clues us in (Clare's father's and brother's reactions when they see the real-time Henry, I think, are different than those of other people who have thought the saw him before).

2. This also reminds me of (the movie) Shadowlands (which is partly about C.S. Lewis' love affair/marriage). But there is a line that his wife says to him when they are discussing her imminent death (she's dying from cancer, I think). She says the happiness we feel now is to help us through the sadness they'll feel later.

So I was thinking that Henry got to go back into Clare's childhood/teen years and be blissfully in love so Clare would have those wonderful memories to hold on to while she "waited" for him through the rest of her life (40+ years...good heartbreaking!)

3. Speaking of going back - Does anyone else find it interesting that only adult Henry goes back to Clare's childhood, not teenage or 20s Henry? I like the line where she tells currently 28 year old Henry that it's like being with someone who has amnesia. I always got the sense that while she loved him, she loved the older him better because that's the one who "knew" her.

4. The waiting question is a REALLY good one because obvious Clare does a LOT of waiting. But on the otherhand, Henry is the one waiting more. He has to wait for Clare to grow up, to find him, to for that Henry to get to the age where he can start going back to her childhood. Henry "waits" for Christmas Eve (although with fear and trepidation). It's like Henry is just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

The reader discussion questions at the end of my book asks what you thought about the waiting. Is Clare's waiting typically associated with women, while Henry's agressiveness typically associated with men? Does she switch this up on us in the book? I thought that was interesting to ponder.

Okay, I could go on and on (obviously as I already have). So I'll end for now.

Discuss amongst yourselves! heh

message 25: by Tiffany (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:28PM) (new)

Tiffany Oh gosh, where to start...
Although Henry dying was terribly sad, I kind of figured it would happen soon after he lost his feet because he had mentioned before how his life depended on how fast he could run. That said though, I spent the rest of the book thinking to myself, "no, no, no... there's still hope," like yelling at the TV screen during a movie! lol

There was one part that I marked, on pg. 338, after Lucille dies. Henry says, "Clare who has gone away and left me with this stranger who only looks like Clare." I wondered if Clare ever felt that way with present Henry, after they met in Chicago for the "first time." She had known and loved Older Henry her whole life and then suddenly there was the other Henry who didn't know anything about her or their relationship. That had to have been difficult.

message 26: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:28PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Younger Henry never visited Clare because he didn't meet her until he was 28. A Henry who didn't know Clare existed would have no reason to time travel to her, since he seems to always travel to familiar places and events.

message 27: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:28PM) (new)

Meghan But don't you wonder why 28 Henry never visted the 6 Clare? It was only until he was in his 30s that he established the relationship with her.

message 28: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:29PM) (new)

Meghan Around P. 300-350 Discussed





So what do you think of the marriage and the attempts at having a baby.

Did anyone else fear that the babies were going to timetravel while in the womb, like I did?

Alba sounds like the perfect kid for them too. I love his first meeting with her. But I admit I cried when Clare didn't reach him in time. (I cheated and read the end of the book already.)

message 29: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:29PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) SPOILERS

No, I didn't think about the babies trying to time travel in the womb. Do you think that is part of the reason she had so many miscarriages? I know they said her immune system was rejecting the time travel gene in the babies, but maybe the babies WERE trying to time travel and it was causing their death. Very sad.

Did anyone else think the scene with her having sex with past Henry while present Henry was asleep next to them was kind of strange?

message 30: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:29PM) (new)

Meghan SPOILERS...continued

Yeah. I thought I read that she was holding a fetus once. I think somehow it came out and didn't know how to go back in? Or was it when it went back in, the body rejected it? I'm not sure. I thought it was all rather grim.

I think a lot of what future Henry did with past Clare was kind of strange. But apparently it worked for them.

But did you like Alba? I think she's great!

message 31: by Tiffany (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:30PM) (new)

Tiffany Spoilers...

I thought Alba was great, too. I loved the scene in the gallery when Henry first realizes that it's her - how sweet was that?

message 32: by Erica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:31PM) (new)

Erica Poole | 199 comments Ok, someone mentioned a movie? They are planning a movie about this? On one hand I am thrilled by this, but on the other hand, I hate the idea. It is so rare to do justice to such an amazing book! I don't know...

message 33: by Tiffany (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:31PM) (new)

Tiffany Yes, there are plans to do a movie. You can check it out on IMDB.

message 34: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:31PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) On the plus side, maybe we will get to see lots of naked Eric Bana. Naked. A lot.

message 35: by Erica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:31PM) (new)

Erica Poole | 199 comments Well, that is definitely a good thing...drooling here....

message 36: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:31PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I have to say, I might have enjoyed the book even more if the naked man I was picturing in my head while reading had looked anything like Eric Bana.

(Sorry, Brian, if you're reading this thread which has suddenly become very girly.)

message 37: by Erica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:31PM) (new)

Erica Poole | 199 comments Oh yeah, I agree wholeheartedly Sarah, and sorry Brian, whoever you are. I saw that they MIGHT have Ron Livingston play Gomez, you know, Berger from Sex and the City. I hope not. I like the guy, but I don't think he fits that character.

message 38: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:32PM) (new)

Meghan I have lots of comments to the book but no time. But I just want to comment on the movie discussion. I HEART Eric Bana so yum yummy yum! (Except if he gets all emaciated in the end, that's not really so yummy. Actually I pictured more of a Christian Bale-type for this character.)

I think Ron Livingston COULD be okay as Gomez, but I agree Erica. I mean the book described him as BLONDE for crying out loud!

message 39: by Erica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:32PM) (new)

Erica Poole | 199 comments I know it seems like such a small thing, but basically hair color is such a sticking point! I mean I know they can dye anyone's hair for a role, but some people just can't do certain hair colors. Not to mention, I personally picture Gomez as more slick, for lack of a better word. We shall see, he isn't locked in yet.

message 40: by Marlo (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:32PM) (new)

Marlo | 6 comments For some reason, probably because I had Gilmore Girls on the brain, I pictured Henry as Milo Ventimiglia however Eric Bana is a great choice.
Meghan-good call on Christian Bale as I could see him as Henry too.
I really hope they do not choose Ron Livingston for Gomez...

message 41: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:33PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Milo's much too young, but I could see Christian Bale. Bale, Bana, they're both hot so I'd be OK seeing either naked. Lots and lots of naked. LOL.

message 42: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:33PM) (new)

Meghan Oh and can I just add that I LOVE that Frankenmuth (Bronners) got a mention...and Ed Debevics (although how 1992!). This book is definitely for us Great Lakers!!

message 43: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:33PM) (new)

Meghan Okay, last thought!

What do people think of Clare? Do they think she is weak for waiting (like waiting by the phone on a friday night for your boyfriend to call weak)? Or do they think she is strong (for sticking with it and making the sacrifices for true love)? Do you think the time traveling caused Henry and Clare to alter each other in order for their romance to work? What do you think they would have been like if Henry ended up with Ingrid and Clare with Gomez?

message 44: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:33PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I don't think Ingrid would even have waited for Henry. She was much too unstable herself to be with someone who was also unstable.

One thing that I kept thinking about was the idea of destiny and free will. Like when Clare was asking Henry how she knew she liked coffee with cream and sugar, or did she just like it because he told her she liked it. Did she just fall in love with Henry because he told her they were going to end up getting married? Or would she have fallen in love with him anyway? When Clare was 12 or 13 she cried because she thought Henry would end up marrying someone else ("I thought maybe you were married to me.") but the idea of marrying him had already been planted in her head by the Ouija board.

message 45: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:34PM) (new)

Meghan SPOILERS....

Really? I think Ingrid understood Henry's leaving better than Clare and much better than Henry ever gave her credit for. (I'm thinking about the time in which Alba meets them and 20 something Henry goes "that was strange" and Ingrid tells him how dumb he can be for being so smart. She knew that Alba was his daughter--she supposedly looked just like him--and because she referenced a difference lady as her mother, Ingrid also knew that it probably meant Henry had ended up with someone else other than her.)

I kind of think that somehow Time made a mistake and somehow Henry got mixed up with Clare when really he was suppose to go with Ingrid and she was supposed to find someone else, possibly Gomez. It also makes me think of all the great love stories, about people finding their soul mates and how all the great stories somehow have someone losing. Rhet loved Scarlett but she wanted Ashley. Rick loved Ilsa but she ends up with Victor. In An Affair to Remember, the lovers end up together, Nickie and Terry, but she has to leave her fiance, Kenneth. It seems like a high price to pay for true love.

message 46: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:34PM) (new)

Meghan SPOILERS........

I was reviewing the book and it helped me word my questions better. But along the lines of your thoughts on destiny vs free will Sarah, did Henry make Clare love him and then in turn did Clare turn Henry into the man she loved, who went back to make her love him? Where did the circle start? The chicken or the egg?

message 47: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:34PM) (new)

Meghan Discussion questions............

If you knew your death date, how would that effect how you would live? Is it better to know?

Compare Ben's "death" sentence (AIDS) with Henry's (time traveling). How is Ben's better? Worse?

Also, how is Clare like Richard (Henry's dad)? They are both artists. Both lose spouses. Both become single parents. Both have time traveling children who get to see the lost loved one while they must remain behind. Both are left waiting, but for different things. How is Clare better? Or is she worse off than Richard?

message 48: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:34PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Ooh, I never thought to compare Clare and Richard. Very nice.

message 49: by Erica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:34PM) (new)

Erica Poole | 199 comments I personally think one of the worst things in the world would be to know the date of my death. I do like the idea that I could make sure to do certain things and make my goodbyes and all of that. But knowing myself, I would either spend too much time trying to avoid it, or else be so freaked out by it that I couldn't really enjoy living while I had the time! I just think of how freaked out I get when I know I have to go to the doctor and get blood drawn! I can't even imagine knowing when I was to die!

I think that is what really showed Henry's strength and made him admirable in the book.The ability to know when he would die, if not how, and be able to take care of what he needed to, and somehow not burden his family with it so that they wouldn't spend the last of their time together in misery awaiting the inevitable. Truly amazing.

message 50: by Erica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:34PM) (new)

Erica Poole | 199 comments Oh yeah, and I am totally for Bana NOT Bale. Sorry. Just had to vote!

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