Halfway through the book so far, and I've yet to see what they see in each other. We've been told and hinted at repeatedly that they are in love, but we've not been SHOWN how their feelings developed, just expected to take the author's word for it. Of course this may come later--I'm hoping.
I found Clare to be annoying after a while. Henry less so, but they didn't ring true as people, much less as people in love.
Still nothing, absolutely nothing, is falser than the bathtub scene. Niffinger credits paper artists and archivists and who knows who else in the back of the book. It is totally apparent that she didn't talk to a physiatrist, a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, or a bilateral amputee, above or below the knee.
Henry and Clare never had an unsteady phase where they were just getting to know each other - both times they "met", one of them knew all about the other. Maybe that's why they didn't seem mad in love, but much more stable and caring.
Totally agree. I read the entire book and the only reason they were presented as a couple deeply in love is beause the writer "said so". But she left the "why" out completely. Really, it was just one long booty call.
Overall it was a good book. I didn't like some words she used for private parts. It seemed out of character or as if the author was trying to hard. Certain references made the story and its characters seem less believable than more believable. And lastly, I didn't like the ending. I don't like the idea of Clare waiting until she is in her 80's to see Henry one last time. Does the woman always have to be the martyr?
I found this idea crazy but original and intriguing. I think the front cover is a bit strange, with the man's shoes and the little girl. Almost inappropriate, unless he was her father. I thought the different times and ages were complicated and confusing because of age differences. Also I felt that Clare and Henry were more like continual casual strangers that had interractions and sex. It was very imaginary, almost childlike in some aspects of expectancy. I really give the author credit for all the different times and ages. Very confronting in some elements. Brilliantly constructed and implemented. Audrey Niffenegger is a genius. I wish I could write something as interesting.
I thought Clare had a "need" for Henry's attention, homework help, nurturing, plus to have a friend who was a time traveler at her young age?! It would be like living in a novel, a real-life type of escapism, it probably helped her "cope" with her family life and life itself since she was without anyone really close to her. Henry had a need of her help (food, clothing, friendship/companionship). She helped him with needs that a young boy would usually have fulfilled by his mother (who was killed and his father never fulfilled those basic needs, nor did Henry's dad even step up to meet those needs he should have fulfilled as his father). Clare also had a huge gaping emptiness of need since her mother was "vacant", Etta and Nell were "hired" and Alicia and Clare weren't that close, and they were all just trophies to her father. Clare and Henry filled needs each had that should have been completed by their dead, neglectful, or mentally incapable parents. Thankfully, Henry took the high road until Clare turned 18, legally of age (and he knew they would marry anyway). Also, I would say they seemed to love one another unconditionally, with all they accepted of each others past and knowing, more or less for Clare, the pain and difficulty of the future. Even their hiding truths from one another, (Clare sleeping with a younger Henry thus getting pregnant after present-Henry obviously didn't want to and had recently had a vasectomy without Clare's knowledge/permission, Henry taking Alba to get the DNA blood-draw done without Clare's permission/knowledge, Clare's sleeping with Gomez... these are four huge obstacles for most couples to overcome successfully). A very committed marriage, they both still depended upon each other until the end. Did anyone have a question as to why on earth Clare would keep Celia in her life??? I wondered if she had some fascination with the lesbian-thing due to Henry's elaborating very late in the book on Clare's addiction to an act that Clare was really into, or if possibly Clare wanted some contact with someone who was in Henry's life from an era before she was in it so she could maybe get more info on Henry at times?
Their relationship had a romcom kind of feel to me. Before Claire, Henry is a womanizer and drug addict. But the day he meets Claire he dumps his long term girlfriend he has been cheating on for ages. And lo and behold he pulls his life together all because he met Claire. It was just so hard to believe. I read this book as part of a women's book club (using my husband's account to write this), and all the women had the same "oh my god, he's so romantic with everything he did for Claire and how he changed for her and her waiting was just so darn romantic." I had to leave and quit that book club after that.
It would have rung much more true if even though the characters were so unrealistically in love with each other, the writer had realized the unhealthy weirdness of the relationship. That would have been an interesting book. But instead we get characters the writer is obviously in love with for no good reason and Claire who should have just been named Mary Sue for the fanfic trope.