Study Guide

The Time Traveler's Wife Book 2, Chapter 20

By Audrey Niffenegger

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Book 2, Chapter 20


  • Thursday, February 10, 2005 (Clare is 33, Henry is 41): Clare is working in her studio when Henry returns from his travels. From his ecstatic expression she guesses the exact date and event he has come from. Clare tells Henry that this moment was one of the best of her life, and says how much she missed him. Her goal in life became to get out of the house to look for him in Chicago. She reveals that she went out with a couple of guys, but soon got tired of it. She recalls sleeping with Gomez, but hesitates to tell Henry about it. When Henry wonders what she's thinking, she asks him if he worries that everything really great in their life has already happened. Henry responds that he likes the painful moments just as much: "The fact that there are bad times makes it more real. It's the reality I want" (2.20.29). His concession causes Clare to share her secret. Henry forgives her.
  • Saturday, April 14, 2009 (Clare is 18): Clare recalls the morning she woke up in bed with Gomez. Clare feels horrible. Gomez tells her she kept apologizing to someone named "Henry" in her sleep. When she tells him about Henry, Gomez thinks she's making him up. When she shows him a picture, he recognizes him as the maniac troublemaker he's repeatedly seen at clubs. He tells her that what she needs is him. Gomez. Clare tells him she can't be with him, because he's with Charisse and she's with Henry. She leaves.
  • Friday, April 27, 1990 (Henry is 26): Henry and Ingrid are out dancing to Iggy Pop at the Riviera Theater. Outside, Henry meets a huge blonde guy (Gomez) who tells him "Clare says hello." Henry tells the man that he's confusing him with someone else, but the guy seems especially pleased to see Henry with Ingrid.
  • Friday, February 18, 2005 (Henry is 41, Clare is 33): Henry is taking Charisse to Wagner's opera, Tristan and Isolde, since Clare has an extreme aversion to Wagner. At a restaurant after the show, Charisse reveals to Henry that Gomez is in love with Clare and that he hopes something will happen to Henry so he can be with Clare instead. Charisse begs him to tell her if he'll be all right and if Gomez will leave her. Henry assures her that Gomez won't leave her, but stays quiet about his own future.
  • Sunday, June 12, 2005 (Clare is 34, Henry is 41): Henry and Clare watch 4-year-old Alba play with a 7-year-old future version of herself. Suddenly, young Alba runs into Henry's arms, crying. Henry realizes that older Alba told her that Henry will die when she's five. Henry makes young Alba promise to not tell Clare. Clare presses Henry about Alba's sudden fit, but he tries to distract her. Her fear stirs the memory of the day when she saw Henry with her father and brother outside, looking at something. Her father sent her away, but when she returned to the same spot later that day, the grass was soaked with blood. Henry and Clare hug each other tightly.

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