read: 15 August 2004
It hadn’t occured to me until I was watching a bit of TV today that this book is like the Terminator story. Except instead of the Terminator you have a time travelling librarian, and instead of the buff whatshername you have a lovely rich artist lady. The only way you can sneak a love story on to my reading list is if there’s a librarian in it. This story includes a time travelling librarian who falls in love and then goes back to be a part of his wife’s childhood, over and over again. Most of his time travel is accidental and inadvertent, and he always arrives at his new place/time naked and often vomiting. Time travel this becomes very taxing and he’ll often show back up in the “current” time all beaten up and, once again, naked.
Unlike other superpower stories, many people know that Henry is a time traveler and many people endeavor to help him along the way. Clare, his bride, bride to be, or widow depending when you come in to the story, is in the unenviable position of living a life with someone who at some level has already seen it happening. There are a few breadcrumbs dropped along the way so that the reader will pick up danger signs, notice a little warning bell, or pick up a clue, but the narrative, while not exactly linear, is at least cohesive.
The love and life these characters have together is achingly poignant in the level to which they can attain intimacy and the extent to which there will be some things that they can never share. It’s hard to discuss it at all without giving away plot points that are better left to discover by the reader. Don’t wait, read this book.
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