Well, I had a LOT of time to read over the past week, thanks to a lovely, although brief trip to Arizona, which involved a long plane flight in which the kids were pleasantly zombified by cartoons on the in-flight TV.
First of all, I have to note that when I said I had read to page 55, I hadn’t read page 55 in its entirety. Which means I hadn’t seen the bit about the two 15-year-old Henrys satisfying their, uh, adolescent curiosity together. And in light of the discussion about naked Henry appearing to little Clare, that might have seemed like a bit of an omission. Perhaps it only stood out because I’m a woman … but really, fellas? (Don’t answer that.)
Anyway, let’s move on. Like some of you, I spent much of the first part of the book utterly distracted by the mechanics of Henry’s time-traveling. Especially in mind-bending moments like on page 107, when he makes Clare put a date on her drawing and then she tears it off. I also have to think really hard to comprehend the moments when Henry is in town with Henry, although the wedding scene was rather fun, wasn’t it? I’m sure they make a lot of that in the film version. Speaking of which, I was interested in Amanda Martin’s comment below my last post about how she pictured the characters as they are in the film (i.e., Rachel McAdams as Clare and Eric Bana as Henry). For some bizarre reason (probably because I’m Australian), in my head I see Clare as a younger Cate Blanchett, and Henry is just a miscellaneous slim, handsome guy in need of a shave. How about you?
So, as I said, my reading of the first part of the book was often interrupted by vexing questions: Why does he only time-travel in Chicago and surrounds? Why isn’t he off to the year 1825 or 2025? And as I read on, I found Henry not so much answering those questions but at least acknowledging them. So I decided to give up questioning things and go with the flow. The plot point that really has me wondering is the part about Clare seeing Henry chatting with her father and brother when she was 12. What’s up with that? And what do you make of the peripheral characters like Sharon and Mark and Ingrid and Celia? Are they just there to round out the story, and—in the case of Ingrid and Celia—give depth and context to Henry’s character? Or do you think they have some greater part to play as the story unfolds? I know a lot of you have already read the whole book, so restrain yourselves for now!
I confess I actually did read farther than page 200—and I realize the wedding was past this point too, but that’s not really giving anything away—so I’ll stop chatting now but post again really soon because I think it does get more interesting after page 200. Let’s read to page 400 for next week, but I’ll probably post again before next Monday on some of pages along the way.