After having finished reading “Educated” by Tara Westover, I grabbed hold of an old favorite of mine:
The Timetraveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger.
It’s one of these old stories. Boy meets Girl. They fall in love, get married, and then they live happily ever after.
There are some issues though, isn’t there always? And the special issue here – is that the man travels through time! Unwillingly, unwittingly, and without any clue of when this will happen, and where he will appear.
What I (also) really love and admire with this novel, is the way it’s written. It’s certainly not an easy way of building a novel. But Niffenegger has done it so well. Of course with the language, the grammar et cetera – but there is so much more to it.
She has two main characters: Claire and Henry. The entire book is written in the first tense, and in – hm – do you ever call this “in the first person”? (As in “I go” not “She went”) All the time the story is in one of the characters owns personal view. And they alternate with the story, Claire tells her point of view, and Henry his.
Not only Henry, but the story itself jumps in time. Back and forth, over and over again. I find it really hard to describe this to you! The story is like a 5000 pieces jigsaw puzzle, and Niffenegger has manged to get every single piece in its right place – depicting a marvelous story!
Personally, I just love to write in the first tense, and YES! of course, I also have written in the first person (I), as well as in second person (you), and I know how difficult it can be. You really have to keep yourself on the toes, and not only think twice but ten times or more, how to write to keep consistency. You just can’t slip in the middle of it and let through a “said” or something else in past tense.
But when well done, I think writing in the first tense gives a story a most beautiful closeness.
When you write in the first person, you really have to be aware of what the person in question actually can or can’t see or hear.
Below I’ve added what Goodreads has to say about the novel. (I have a hard time finding words – and! I am a lazy-butt). Read it!
The Time Traveler’s Wife
A funny, often poignant tale of boy meets girl with a twist: what if one of them couldn’t stop slipping in and out of time? Highly original and imaginative, this debut novel raises questions about life, love, and the effects of time on relationships.
Audrey Niffenegger’s innovative debut, The Time Traveler’s Wife, is the story of Clare, a beautiful art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity in his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing.
The Time Traveler’s Wife depicts the effects of time travel on Henry and Clare’s marriage and their passionate love for each other as the story unfolds from both points of view. Clare and Henry attempt to live normal lives, pursuing familiar goals—steady jobs, good friends, children of their own. All of this is threatened by something they can neither prevent nor control, making their story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.