Sunday, April 15, 2007

Book Tour #3, A Time Travelers Wife

Hop along to another stop on this blog tour by visiting the main list at  

You can also sign up for the next book on this online book club: Waiting for Daisy by Peggy Orenstein.

Henry suggests adoption (p337) and then says (p339) that he doesn't feel incomplete without a child of his own and that Clare is obsessed with having a baby. Did / do you ever feel that one of you wants a baby much more than the other and if so, how did you cope with it?
When we first began the saga that is infertility treatment, I mentioned adoption.  H was adamant that that wasn't an acceptable path.  He just didn't want it, he wanted his own DNA passed on or nothing.  I never cared one way or another.   I would like to be a parent and family but I don't really care where the child comes from.  Now that we have been through so many cycles and issues, H has finally accepted that adoption may be our only chance and he is getting to the point of knowing he would be able to care about an adopted child.  He still is not ready to 'give up' on a DNA child though.  I find the whole IVF process painful and exhausting, and, to be honest, not really worth it.  I would love an adopted child or children.  That is not an issue or concern, nor is passing on genes.  But for H the genetic tie is so important that we continue down this path until someone tells us to go home.

Before he died, Henry wrote Claire a letter telling her that he would see her again.  While the knowledge clearly gave her comfort, it led her to spend the later part of her life waiting for him. Was it fair for Henry to give that information to Claire?
I almost think it is unfair, but then I believe it is kindness.  When you have a loss like a death of someone you love dearly, who wouldn't want to have been told, "We will see each other again, I promise".  I mean some people have the faith that you will see those you love in the afterlife, but not all people have that.  If you were told that your loss was not permanent, wouldn't that make the immediate loss a little easier to bear? 

If you read the book without knowing about the pregnancy/miscarriage aspect of the storyline, how did you feel when you got to that part of the story? If you were unprepared for that aspect of the storyline, did you find it particularly jarring or upsetting? Or, if you read the book already knowing about this storyline, do you think that changed how you reacted to it? Did you find the pregnancy/miscarriage aspect made you relate to the characters more?
I read the book initially before treatment and then reread it for this tour.  The first time, I don't think I paid much attention to the infertility storyline.  I think I read it more for the scientific solution and the love story.  This time through it was more impactful.  I don't know that I would have been able to go through as many miscarriages as Clare goes through.  I have had 2 and they were each horrible.  Debilitating.  And we don't get pregnant that easily so there is a lot of time for recovery between miscarriages.  I can't imagine becoming pregnant with relative ease and then losing child after child after child.  It is horrifying.  Had I not had Clare's foreknowledge of a successful outcome, I don't believe I could have continued down that path.

The book ends in 2053, when Claire is 82 years old. Prior to the ending, we are left in the year 2008. Were you satisfied with the ending of the story? What do you think happened to Alba, particularly with her time traveling? In those 45 years, do you think they found a "cure" to the "involuntary" aspect of the time traveling?

I feel that Alba has such a strong nature that she is going to be ok.  I feel like Clare and Henry have given her a good foundation to build upon and that she has a different understanding than Henry did growing up.  It is like any kind of impediment that is embarrassing before being understood.  If Henry were dyslexic and passed that on to Alba, when he was young he might have been tormented for being 'stupid' but as we now understand more people can be more understanding and helpful to this generation, so Alba doesn't have the same hangups that Henry has/had.  I think Alba learned to control her gift more and more as she aged.  Henry learned to predict when it would occur and know the triggers, Alba had more control than that even at a very early age.  I would guess that would only improve with age and understanding.  I would think that a 'cure' is unlikely.  For many reasons, there are too few people to make solving the problem useful and as long as time travel doesn't seem to be damaging a person then non 'travelers' may not see the benefit of curing the 'problem'.  


Rachel Inbar said...

Your post is very touching.

I guess, in a way, I felt that having a baby of your own was something women feel a greater need for than men - though logically, I know it's not true... I guess its the issue of pregnancy and childbirth - that it seems as if a woman deciding not to go ahead is giving up more. I enjoyed reading your feelings about adoption and your frustration with IVF.

This is the only post I've read on your blog, but it makes me wonder if you have considered both adopting and continuing with your treatments...

The Town Criers said...

I thought your answers were very touching too. Especially your answer to the first question. I think fertility treatments can become addictive--there's always that chance that it will work next time. And it's hard to walk away.

I also liked your predictions for Alba's future :-) I wanted to believe that she will be fine.

littleangelkisses said...

Great answers. It's so interesting to read the reason's behind other's feelings.

I agree with the unfairness and kindness issue. Henry wants her to be reassured but doesn't realize that it's the waiting that's so painful.

Sunny said...

Great thougths on Henry being caring and that is the reason he told her he will one day see her again once he dies. i believe he is also thinking about having another moment with his mother. He goes back in time to see her many times but he is never able to have 'moments' with her. He totally wants Claire to never have to want for that moment. She knows that it will come.

Great thoughts!

Jesssica said...

I liked your answer about Alba's future as well. I felt pretty much the same way.
Excellent post. :)

Drowned Girl said...

People put different importance on the genetic link.

I always assumed that it was someone's OWN genes they wanted to pass on (biological imperative) but after reading the book, I realised it can be one's PARTNER'S genes that are important in a decision how to proceed.

Clare: “My body wanted a baby. I felt empty and I wanted to be full. I wanted someone to love who would stay: stay and be there, always. And I wanted Henry to be in this child, so that when he was gone, he wouldn’t be entirely gone, there would be a bit of him with me.”

I hope you and your partner can find your way forward together.


Samantha said...

Both my husband and I have felt terribly on the fence about adopting versus doing fertility treatments, but as we go through more treatments, we have determined that we want to be parents more than anything, so we've set a cut-off point after which we won't do any more. However, like your situation, I think my husband would be willing to try more fertility treatments first, but since it's my body that has such hardship, he's letting me make the final decision.

I also agree with your comments about Alba. I think of the time travel as both a blessing and curse. It seems like for Alba it will be more of a blessing and less of curse than it was for Henry.

Bea said...

I love your thoughts on Alba's storyline. The future seemed much brighter for her - I'd like to believe it was.