Study Guide

The Time Traveler's Wife Book 2, Chapter 22

By Audrey Niffenegger

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Book 2, Chapter 22


  • Thursday, June 15, 2206 (Clare is 35): It's the day before Henry's birthday. Clare gets him a special recording of his mother singing at the Paris Opera.
  • Friday, June 16, 2006 (Henry is 43, Clare is 35): Henry wakes up, realizing it's his forty-third birthday. He inspects himself in front of the mirror, and is worried about how thin and aged he looks. "My hair has gone almost white… My face is too thin. All of me is too thin… Early stages of cancer thin… Heroin addict thin…" (2.22.14).
  • At the Newberry Library, Henry's colleagues take him to lunch. He knows that they're worried about his health. Meanwhile, Clare and Alba spend the day at the zoo with Gomez, Charisse, and their kids. For that night, Clare has arranged for a babysitter to watch Alba so she can take Henry out for his birthday. She surprises him with a candlelight dinner just for the two of them at her friend Lourdes's apartment. Nell, Clare's family cook, is treating them to several gourmet courses. For dessert, Nell brings out a birthday cake with candles on top. Henry makes a wish and blows them all out in one breath. When Nell mentions that that means his wish will come true, he thinks to himself that his wish can't be granted. Clare plays his mother's record for Henry.
  • Back home, Henry and Clare make love. Henry tells Clare that this was the perfect birthday. Clare asks him if he ever wishes to just stop time. She adds that she feels like they're at the top of the rollercoaster.

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