Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A Time-Traveller's Daughter


I just finished reading the book A Time-Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. Good Lord, was I bothered by the end of that book!

The synopsis is that Henry has a genetic illness yet to be discovered in 2000; he is a CPD ( Chrono-Displaced Person) meaning he is chronologically impaired. He met Clare, his future wife, when she was six years old and he was 36. But he married Clare when she was 24 and he was 33 and he didn't know he has time traveled yet so he was seeing her for the first time. See how mixed up it could get? The whole story is driven by this confusion when time cannot move forward as we know it ought. Henry jumps back and forth involuntarily from the future to the past, but always coming back to the present.

It got painful for me when it got to the point when Henry, just before the birth of her daughter Alba, meets her as a ten-year-old kid. Alba was in a field trip in a museum and upon spotting her father, jumped up and embraced him. The teacher was visibly unbelieving because as it happened, Henry died when Alba was just five years old.

Do you see where I'm coming from now?

Another later scene was that a seven-year-old Alba, who also has CPD same as her father, traveled to meet the four-year-old Alba in their backyard. The 7-year-old greeted Clare warmly; but upon seeing Henry, she launched herself onto her father and wept. Clare did not know that Henry has died, or will die, when Alba turned / turns five. So she had no idea why the 7-year-old reacted that way.

Did you make sense of that? You better read the book if I left you more confused than before. But the point of this whole tirade is that: I would give my soul to be a time-traveller too. How many times have I wished to physically hold my parents again? Alba though, would meet her father about three more times after he died. Not to mention that she can always find herself projected to a time when they were alive since she's a CPD herself.

To hug my own Daddy. To kiss my Mummy. To touch them. To lay my head on Mummy's tummy. To feel Daddy's one-day stubble. One more time.

Yes, sir, just one last time.

Don't get me wrong. The book was very well-written. It isn't science fiction-y at all. The focus was on the people and not on the genetic mutations. It has taken all the ramifications of time traveling as a fact so it still reads as if it's just a well-plotted, well-written love story.
Read it. Don't listen to my emo-stuff. Just go. :p

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