This may seem a strange thing to say, as it is quite a hefty tome, but essentially very little happens in this book. It is a love story indeed, but I feel that the elements of the main characters' love for each other are not well developed, and as other critics have observed seem to focus on their sex life. I feel that given Henry's pre-disposition to disappear to other times, some of his adventures could have been a little more deeply explored, as could have Clare's interaction with friends and family as she waits for her unpredictable lover. Particularly odd is how the very concepts of time travel are skimmed over - sometimes Henry meets his older/younger self; sometimes he remembers things/sometimes not, and there is never any real explanation for his sometimes bizarre and violent behaviour in some of his travels.
Perhaps the author wished to show the impact of this time travel on people struggling to maintain normal lives - alas this doesn't make for particularly thrilling reading.
Lastly, this is a really innovative book, and a brave attempt to cross the boundaries of romance and science fiction. It is worth reading for these reasons, but I was disappointed.
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The novel tells the story of Henry DeTamble (born 1963), a librarian at the Newberry Library in Chicago, and his wife, Clare Abshire (born 1971), an artist from a wealthy family who makes paper sculptures. Henry has a rare genetic disorder, which comes to be known as Chrono-Displacement during his lifetime, that causes him to involuntarily travel through time. When 20-year-old Clare meets 28-year-old Henry at the Newberry Library in 1991, he has never seen her before, although she has known him most of her life. Clare's past is still in Henry's future. Henry begins to experience the events in Clare's childhood at the same time that he experiences life with the adult Clare in the present. In the novel, the future cannot be changed, and many tragic events are foreshadowed in the past.
Henry is unable to control his time traveling: when he leaves, where he goes, or how long his trip will last. His destinations are tied to his subconscious, as Henry most often travels to places he has visited or will eventually visit. Very often, Henry is taken back to the moment his mother died in a car accident that he survived, and is...