This weekend I read my birthday present -- a book by Audrey Niffenegger. I tend not to read very often, because good novels get into my psyche and everything falls by the wayside while I finish it. So, I don't read, not because I don't like to read, but because I like it too much. Weird, I know.
Regardless, we went to Dallas this weekend for the birthday party of some friends' kids. That meant we had lots of travel time (unguilted reading time), and we would likely need to entertain ourselves a bit while our friends dealt with their life a kids during the weekend (more unguilted reading time), so I decided to start this one.
I actually started Thursday night before we left, and that's a good thing, because this story sucked me in, and I had no choice but to stay up late Saturday night finishing it up. Of course my husband was getting annoyed with me crying with the bedside table-lamp on until 1 in the morning, but it's his fault -- he gave me the book.
To give you the brief, no-spoilers-involved, rundown, we follow the story of a woman, Clare, and her time-traveling husband, Henry (no duh -- you get that from the title). But, unlike other time-travel stories, Henry didn't invent some crazy machine and use it to run all over the time continuum. Instead, Henry has a genetic disease that means when he gets stressed, his fight-or-flight response is extreme: he time travels. He tends to travel to times and places that are important to him, including times while his future wife is a young child and is growing up. One of the unfortunate issues with his type of time travel is that anything not a part of him is left behind -- clothes, shoes, etc. So, his young wife-to-be becomes a partner in getting him the necessities of life -- food, clothing, etc. It is a beautiful love story told from both points of view. We primarily follow Clare, as her story is easier as a linear story line, but Henry's story is woven in a very neat way, showing us his "linear" as the jumpy timeline where answers come before questions and some answers just shouldn't be given. He has a couple of great lines about 20 years ago and a few minutes ago being the same thing to him. It's an interesting take on two people being fated for each other, and as I mentioned before, it made me bawl my little eyes out for hours. Folks having trouble having kids might want to avoid this one, though I don't think any admonition of that sort would have stopped me from reading it.
And then I see that they are making a movie out of the story. I always love to see that a good story gets told to a larger audience, but I haven't decided what I think about making this particular one into a movie. Of course a lot will be lost, but I'm sure I'll have to see it -- to see if they faithfully render the duo I met this weekend when I was on a plane or supposed to be sleeping. But at least the laundry and dishes weren't being shirked while I read.
The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers
5 weeks ago