What Happens When You Share a Love That Defies Time Itself?

They met when Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six

Sandi Parsons
The Last Nerd

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Copy of The Time Traveler’s Wife with a pink rose over the top
Photo Credit: Sandi Parsons

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger skips through time with reckless abandon, as does the narrative.

Confused? Don’t be. It’s a messy book that some readers struggle to comprehend. But there’s a simple reason for that — time travel, like life, is messy. And you can’t convey the essence of time travel with a neat linear narrative.

Henry has Chrono-Displacement Disorder. Periodically, he shifts in time, often triggered by moments of stress. Henry arrives in another time naked, a situation that’s often problematic, sometimes comical. An older Henry teaches a younger Henry how to survive in the minefield that is his life. (This is perhaps the concept of time travel that I love the most. Oh, the things now-Sandi could tell past-Sandi!!)

The one thing that grounds Henry is Clare. She is his rock.

Clare first meets Henry when she was six — Henry was thirty-six, a much older version of himself. Henry first meets Clare when he is twenty-eight, and she is twenty. Although Clare has met older versions of Henry, this is the first time they are together in the present.

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Sandi Parsons
The Last Nerd

Sandi Parsons lives & breathes stories as a reader, writer, and storyteller📚 Kidlit specialist, dipping her toes in the big kid’s pool.