Sunday, November 13, 2005
Time Travelers Wife and Confessions
"The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffeneger. Henry has something missing from his genetic code which causes him to travel through time. He can't control it and he doesn't know when it will happen until seconds before it does. He also can't change anything that happens in the past. It's also not something he enjoys. There is always that worry that something really bad will happen. He also can't travel with anything including his clothes. This has caused him to be beaten and arrested a number of times. The only good thing about it was he got to see his wife Claire grow up. This meant than when they met for the first time in real time she knew who he was and knew she would marry him. It's really more of a story about their lives together and how the time traveling affects them both.
In the new year I plan to do a top ten of my favourite books from this year. This will definitely be on it. I was hooked from page one. If it wasn't for work I could have sat down and read it in a day. It had a bit of everything in it. It was funny, sad and moving. The characters had their dark sides which made them seem more real. And Henry's problem actually sounded plausible. I know a lot of people who haven't wanted to read this because they feel it is too sci fi but that's not what this is about. Others felt that it was too much of a romance. Yes, it has romance but it isn't your typical romance. This should be on everyone's reading list.
"Confessions Of An Ugly Stepsister" by Gregory Maguire.
This is written from the point of view of Iris, the youngest of the ugly stepsisters. It tells the story of her family traveling to Amsterdam where she meets her love and her future stepsister Clara. Unlike her portrayal in the Cinderella story we all know, Iris is ugly but kind hearted. Her sister Ruth is also ugly but loving and mute. Iris takes care of Ruth and then Clara. Clara throws herself into the role of Cinderella as she is afraid to leave the house. After the death of her mother she throws herself into chores to look after her father. The ball is near the end of the book and the sisters mother is the one who pushes her daughters to go to the ball in the hopes of improving their fortunes. Iris is under no illusions that she will be able to attract the prince and doesn't want to. In the end she plays the role of fairy Godmother to her stepsister.
I read this as part of my new interest in books based on fairy tales. I read "Wicked" a few months ago so I knew what to expect and wasn't disappointed. It's not quite as good as "Wicked" although has a slightly better start. It is definitely worth reading. Especially if you like stories about the so called bad guys who are just misunderstood. It's for people who are looking to read something a little bit different.