by Audrey Niffenegger
Henry DeTamble has Chrono-Displacement Disorder, which has him jumping from one moment in time to the next… literally. But he only jumps around within his own lifetime. Basically, instead of living his years in a normal linear fashion, he gets thrown about from one point in time to the other.
It’s not a controlled or purposeful leap, so we get to watch Henry stumble through, learning to deal with his temporal inconsistency while trying to build a life.
Part of that life, is of course, his wife Clare Abshire, who he meets as a little girl. As Clare grows, their lives continuously intersect, but his age doesn’t follow the linear progression of hers: when she’s 6 he’s 40, when she’s 20, he’s 28.
The story telling alternates between her point of view and his, so we get the perspective of the unwilling traveler and his partner in love and life who gets constantly left behind for unknown periods of time. Clare of course, grows up with this and finds clever ways to predict when Henry may be flung back to her.
It’s a great story that blends genetic science fiction with a love story rather well. The characters are well written and the story line fascinating. The author offers interesting dilemmas. I won’t ruin the end, but I loved it.