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The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffeneger

I've still not finished with the book, but I am so annoyed right now that I felt the strong need to post my thoughts thus far.

If you haven't read the book as of yet, stop reading this post right now; there are going to be spoilers running rampant through the paragraphs below.

You've been warned...

Ms. Niffeneger has lost me... completely. It was an intriguing story up until, oh, I guess 3/4 of the way through. I was interested, and it was a quick, easy read. Unfortunately, however, Niffeneger makes one of her main characters, Claire (the actual time traveler's wife) baby crazy. And when I say baby crazy, I mean that she has the baby madness. She is desperate to have a kid, and I simply cannot connect with that. Maybe I will experience this phenomenon later in life (I'm not planning on it, but being that I don't know my future I can't say that I won't.), but right now I'm almost disgusted by her overwhelming desire to have a baby. It's irrational, and it's tearing her marriage apart. Call me nuts, but I thought a baby was supposed to strengthen the bonds of matrimony.

If it was just the baby madness, I think I'd be ok with it. But that's not all. Claire "perseveres" through 6 - count them... 6... not 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5, but SIX - miscarriages. ... ... ... WHAT? I'm sorry, I know miscarriages are horrible, but to put yourself knowingly through 6 miscarriages is STUPID. There's emotional trauma, physical trauma, etc... Stupid, stupid, stupid. You'd think after the 2nd baby she'd realize, Oh, hey... I guess we can't / shouldn't conceive. Well, crap. Let's save a kid from the really sucky foster system and adopt. Wahoo!!! But no... She pushes on, demanding sex from her husband so that she can selfishly have a baby with "a piece of him" so that, when he disappears she won't be so alone. I understand the loneliness factor, but... I simply cannot understand this baby craziness. Once again, maybe I will later on in life, but... not now. Most definitely not now.

To top it off, Henry (the time traveler and - obviously - her husband) surreptitiously goes to a doctor to get a vasectomy. What a great relationship we have here. Oh, how I want that kind of trust in my own marriage... Wait...

Either way, I'm not sure I'll be seeing the movie. This baby crap has annoyed the hell out of me, and I can't imagine sitting through 2 hours of it. What I'll probably do is ask people who've seen it if it focuses so much on the nutter Claire and her unhealthy infatuation with baby-making. Oi.

Ok, I feel much better now. I'm going to finish the book, but I don't like it. The last few books / series I've read I haven't finished for not liking them (Harry Potter & Twilight) so I'm going to try to soldier on through this one. Maybe it will get better at the end, and I'll end up liking it. I very highly doubt that, but I like to give a book a chance before I completely dismiss it.

Lord, keep me sane.

Come back at noon for today's writing exercise!



Anonymous said…
But babies don't "strengthen the bonds of matrimony." The studies are in, and the conclusions support what we contentedly child-free have thought all along: if you want to nuke not only your sense of self but whatever romance you were enjoying with your husband or wife, have a kid. (And, yes, people with kids, keep chanting the mantra: Nothing compares to a child's love, you'll understand when you have kids of your own, etc., etc.). An alternative view of Clare's mindless drive to reproduce (cue salmon image here), and her belief that adoption or surrogacy isn't "real" parenthood (let's face it: Clare and Henry might have obtained sperm from someone less apt to pop out of existence): I would love to see gay rights groups respond to Ms. Niffenegger's thoughts on the subject. So, Audrey, all those "two-dad" and "two-mom" families don't count...?
Tina said…
Anyone who has never carried a child let alone lost one should NEVER stand in judgement & call a woman "baby crazy"
I have never read the book/saw the movie & just stumbled across this post by chance. As a mother who buried not one but two, that's right TWO babies. I find you're writing offensive at best. If your desire is to be a good writer I'm certain your thoughts would be better put to paper AFTER learning compassion for potential readers.
This "Claire" doesn't exist but I do & boy oh boy am I ever so glad I allowed myself to be "baby crazy" & try for another. Otherwise I wouldn't have my sweet little 2 year old daughter running around. BTW, I have four children here on earth & my relationship with my hubby is just fine. I find it to be a sad excuse to say "oh, I can't have children cuz it'll ruin my marriage"
Seriously??? Get a frigging imagination! Obviously I have absolutely NO PROBLEMS having time alone with my husband considering we have a total of 6 kids! Get a grip & take a peek outside of your self absorbed box!

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