Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Let's Do The Time Warp Again

Leave it to our book club to pick THE-MOST-POPULAR book, and thus the hardest to find novel for our discussion. Throw in the fact that the movie based on the book, headlining Rachel McAdams would be opening the same weekend as our meeting?

Regardless we pushed through the high demand and managed to squirrel away a few copies of Audrey Niffenegger’s A Time Traveler’s Wife last month. Keeping with the theme of time traveling, we warped back in time to the Founding Farmers for discussion over brunch.

Brunch was a blast – we had a few new faces and a few old friends. I really love how the book club is become quite the melting pot of generations, Sigmas, and non-Sigmas. Seated at a family style table for 12, the 6 of us naturally attacked the waiter to see if he had any comments about the book. None..ok the movie…also nothing….ok Chick lit in general…still nothing …ok sir do you read? Well that segwayed him into a twenty minute monologue about Russian romance novels…next time Jen: don’t grill the waiter –unless it’s about the menu.

The idea of the restaurant is farm fresh – so everything on the menu is made from locally grown, for the most part organic ingredients. I honestly couldn’t tell the difference – but my Eggs Benedict was still scrumptious. Lizzie’s cornbread and waffles were amazing too.

As far as the book goes – I stood apart from the group. I loved the story. Now there are two types of great novels – those that are written beautifully in the prose, and those that are beautiful stories. This was the latter, not the former.

Although each chapter opened with a poem, Audrey steered clear of flexing any poetic muscles. Written like diary entries the two main characters took turns narrating their love story- which was as sweet as it was confusing. The chronology of the story bounces around like an epileptic with ADD who just discovered crack, but the author tries to ground you with a time frame under each entry. Word of advice – take notes as you’re reading.

The other point I had an issue with was when the husband and wife meet for the first time she is 6 and he is in his late 30s. When the get busy, she’s 18 and he’s still in his late 30s. Sure, when they are in the “now” there is only an 8 year difference, but when his zipping around…it’s a huge time difference. Last point was the whole dream sequence thing the author does – way trippy, I ended up skimming those.

But overall – I’d say it’s a 3 star read. The book tells a universal story – in this case it’s about a partner who has to leave without notice and the effect it has on his spouse, just remove the time-travel aspect – and there’s nothing bizarre about that story.

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