For most people, time in a linear experience that happens in order. From their birth to their death, they experience life events in the ‘correct’ order. But, for Henry DeTamble this is not the case. Since Henry was a child, during a car accident that took his mother’s life, Henry has been time traveling to different events in his life. He travels to before he was born, to after he dies, and to many events in between.
This leads to an interesting timeline, as he visits his future wife, Clare’s, childhood a number of times in his later years. For Clare, when she meets Henry in her early twenties: she’s known him her entire life. He was her childhood friend, her confidant, her first kiss, and she knew that later on in her life, he would become her husband.
But, for Henry, when he meets Clare for the first time she’s a total stranger to him.
Clare knows everything about Henry when they meet, as the Henry who visited Clare was a much older version of himself. The Henry in Clare’s present is a younger version, who will eventually travel to see Clare in his later years. As Henry tends to only constantly visit pivotal moments in his life, like his mother’s death, Clare fascinates him and they begin dating.
Henry constantly leaves Clare to travel, and she hates and enjoys it at the same time. She hates missing him, but longs to hear the story of where he ended up when he comes home.
After they’ve been married for a few years, Clare and Henry decide to try and have a child. During the number of miscarriages, they realize that Henry’s condition is genetic and they reach out to a doctor to try and help them. Eventually, they have a daughter that they name Alba. She’s also a time traveler, but Henry has his doctor run tests on her DNA to see if they could potentially prevent her from traveling if that’s what she chooses.
While traveling, Henry is shot by Clare’s father or brother. He dies in the living room of his and Clare’s home, surrounded by his family and friends. Clare goes through the rest of her life waiting for Henry to show up, as she has her entire life.
This is by far one of my favourite romance novels, and I can’t get enough of it. This is my third or fourth time reading it, and it still brings tears to my eyes. The story is such a complicated one, but it’s still the age old romance tale. Just not in the order I’m used to reading, clearly.