The Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger
The Time Traveler's Wife Theme of Family
The main characters in The Time Traveler's Wife maintain a closer relationship with friends than with their own families. Both Henry and Clare were raised by women other than their mothers – while Henry grew up under Mrs. Kim's supervision, Clare received the most guidance and love from Etta, the family housekeeper. Both Henry and Clare's relationships with their blood-relatives are strained, which wears on them emotionally.
Questions About Family
- Henry often visits his parents when they're young. Would you want to meet your parents when they were young? How could that affect your own life?
- How are Clare and Henry are influenced by their relationship with their families?
- Clare and Henry's families are very different. What do you consider to be the main differences between them?
- Henry describes Clare's family as "an advertisement for the bourgeoisie." Do you agree, and why or why not?
- What does the story say about blood-related family versus such friends as Kimy, Gomez, and Charisse?