Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Chapter 9: Christmas Eve, Three
Written by Amanda
Edited by Rose/Krystal

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, December 24, 25, 26, 1991 (Clare is 20, Henry is 28)

Henry and Clare take a road trip to visit her family at Meadowlark House for Christmas. Henry is a horrible passenger, for obvious reasons, and is anxious the whole way. It was so different being with Henry all the time now. In some ways it was better than before because now he touched her, he would tell her everything, and she had a last name, address and phone number. Clare can’t express how happy she is to finally introduce him to her family and he says this proves just how much he loves her, having avoided road trip and girls families for years. They discuss the separate sleeping arrangements and then time travel. Henry tells Clare his theory about how time travel is like epilepsy, since stress has a lot to do with it and he has no control over it, but he also believes that his subconscious has a lot to do with where he goes, since he spends a great deal in his past rather than the future.

Read the rest of the summary HERE.

Memorable Quotes:

Henry: “Only because I adore you beyond reason am I doing this. I have spent a lot of time avoiding road trips, meeting girls’ families, and Christmas. The fact that I am enduring all three at once proves that I love you.” (Page 161)

Henry: “I am a beast of the hoof. If anything ever happens to my feet you might as well shoot me.” (Page 163)

Lucille: “Unbelievable – fantastic! We have all her recordings –” und so wiete. But then Lucille says, “I met her when I was young. My father took me to her Madama Butterfly, and he knew someone who took us backstage afterward, and we went to her dressing room, and she was there, and all these flowers! And she had her little boy – why, that was you! (Page 168)

Henry: Henry sighs. “My whole life is one long déjà vu.” (Page 173)

Clare: It’s my turn. I look at Henry. “To happiness. To here and now.” (Page 178)

Henry: “He has this idea that every piece of music should be treated with respect, even if it isn’t something he likes much. I mean, he doesn’t like Tchaikovsky, or Strauss, but he will play them very seriously. That’s why he’s great; he plats everything as though he’s in love with it.” (Page 195)

Henry: “Anyway, Dad and I don’t get along. At all.”
Alicia: “How come?”
Clare: Clare says, “Bedtime.” She means, Enough already. Alicia is waiting for an answer.
Henry: I turn my face to her. “Have you ever seen a picture of my mom?” She nods. “I look like her.”
Alicia: “So?” Alicia washes the glasses under the tap. Clare dries.
Henry: “So, he can’t stand to look at me. I mean, that’s just one reason among many.” (Page 196)

Helen: “So, Henry,” Helen says, “we hear that you are a librarian. But you don’t look like a librarian.”
Henry: “Actually, I am a Calvin Klein underwear model. The librarian thing is just a front.” (Page 200-201)

Questions for discussion:

Did you notice any foreshadowing in this chapter?

What is your impression of the Abshire family and it’s dynamics?

What did you think about Henry’s assertion that his father can’t bear to look at him because he looks like his mother? Do you feel sorry for Henry or do you feel sorry for his father? Do you think they will ever make up?

Read and discuss more HERE.

Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Chapter 10: Home is Anywhere you Hang Your Head
Written by Amanda
Edited by Rose/Krystal

Saturday, May 9, 1992 (Henry is 28)

Not bothering to call ahead, Henry decides to pay a visit to his father with the intention of asking him a question. While digging for his keys Mrs. Kim pops her head out and invites Henry in to her apartment. Mrs. Kim’s current demeanor, which is quite different from her normal, alarms Henry and he follows her inside to find out what’s up. As Mrs. Kim brings Henry a Coke she asks about his time traveling. He says he hasn’t in month and Kimy picks up on him having a girlfriend and why he never brings her around. Henry says that he’s offered, but Clare always turns him down and Mrs. Kim says he’s never asked to come see her. Next time Henry is to bring Clare to her and she will make Richard show up. Kimy was a genius. Mrs. Kim gets to the heart of the matter and asks Henry when he’s getting married; causing him to spews the sofa drink out of his nose. In fact that was his question, to get his mother’s rings. Mrs. Kim admits that Richard’s been having a hard time; not leaving the apartment, banging around and she even went in and found trash and clothes everywhere. She also confides that he owes $1200 in back rent and guilt stricken, Henry breaks out his checkbook and immediately writes her a check. A loud noise upstairs lets them know that Mr. DeTamble is awake and Henry heads upstairs.

Read the rest of the summary HERE.

Memorable Quotes:

Mrs. Kim: “Long time no see, buddy.”
Henry: Ouch. (Page 213)

Henry: “You’re a genius.”
Mrs. Kim: “Yes, I am. How come I don’t get a MacArthur grant? I ask you?” (Page 213)

Mrs. Kim: “So when you getting married?”
Coke comes up my nose, I’m laughing so hard. Kimy lurches up and starts thumping me on the back. I subside, and she sits back down, grumpily. “What’s so funny? I’m just asking. I get to ask, huh?”
Henry: “No, that’s not it – I mean, I’m not laughing because it’s ludicrous, I’m laughing because you are reading my mind. I came over to ask Dad to let me have mom’s rings.” (Page 214)

Henry: “That’s all? What are you doing, buddy, running a Philanthropic Society for the Support of Wayward DeTambles?” I write the check and stick it under her saucer. “You better cash that or I’ll come looking for you.”
Mrs. Kim: “Well, then I won’t cash it and you will have to visit me.” (Page 215)

Henry: “If Dad doesn’t shape up you can give me away. Actually, that’s a great idea: you can walk me down the aisle, and Clare will be waiting in her tux, and the organist will be playing Lohengrin…”
Mrs. Kim: “I better buy a dress.”
Henry: “Yow. Don’t buy any dresses until I tell you it’s a done deal.” (Page 216)

Questions for discussion:

Henry mentions that his father hated him for surviving the crash? Do you think that’s true?

Do you think that if Henry told his father that he saw Annette in the past things might have been different between them?

Read and discuss more HERE.