"It's hard being left behind. I wait for Henry, not knowing where he is, wondering if he's okay. It's hard to be the one who stays." —Clare
Henry never knows where and when time will split him out next
Neither the past nor the future
How often do we escape our present, cruising through life on autopilot, waiting for better days, or missing the ones that have passed?
Some categorize it as science fiction, others as a romance. Niffenegger herself is reluctant to label the novel, saying she "never thought of it as science fiction, even though it has a science-fiction premise". In Niffenegger's view, the story is primarily about Henry and Clare's relationship and the struggles they endure. She has said that she based Clare and Henry's romance on the "cerebral coupling" of Dorothy Sayers' characters Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane. As critic Marc Mohan describes, the novel "uses time travel as a metaphor to explain how two people can feel as if they've known each other their entire lives".
When Clare is six years old and Henry 26
Clare: 18 years old, Henry: 38
Clare is left alone 3 times on their wedding day
Clare said NO the first time Henry proposed to her
1 full term pregnancy
ALBA is born, A time traveler, too, But she has control over her 'travels', A music prodigy, taking after her grandparents (Henry's parents)
On New Year's Eve 2006 Henry time travels into the middle of the Michigan woods in 1984 and is accidentally shot by Clare's brother. Henry returns to the present and dies in Clare's arms.
'Stop waiting' from Henry in a letter
Clare 82, Henry 43: they meet again (for the last time?)
The New York Times
The New Yorker
45,000 copies in 1 week
The Observer: a publishing sensation