Study Guide

Ingrid in The Time Traveler's Wife

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Ingrid is Henry's girlfriend before he meets Clare. Clare describes her as "blond and beautiful in a very German way, tall and dramatic" (1.8.250). She appears to be a bit in awe of the woman, if not frightened. The night after Henry and Clare have their first real date, Henry explains to Clare that "I was about to break up with her… We've been torturing each other for a long time" (1.1.132). It's obvious that he never really loved Ingrid, and certainly not in the way he loves Clare. Henry describes their relationship as physical rather than emotional: "Ingrid and I are always happiest together when we're dancing or f***ing… and not talking" (2.20.95).

Yet Ingrid takes their breakup very hard. She struggles with depression and tries to commit suicide several times. Although Henry hears about these attempts from Gomez, he wants nothing to do with her. One day, Henry time travels to Ingrid's apartment. There she points a gun at him. She asks him if he ever loved her and he says he did, but she doesn't believe him. She shoots herself in front of him. Henry struggles with his part in her death.

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