Henry DeTamble has that problem. He is a time traveler. Although his past and future are intertwined, crossed, and tangled it is not always clear where he is going, and where he has been.
He meets his future wife, Clare Abishire, when she is six in 1977. When they first meet, he is 36, and has already known Clare in the future - is already married to her. The friendship they forge will last years and Henry weaves in and out of it.
Clare though, must struggle to live a life where Henry pops in and out of it. She has to deal with peer pressure in high school - the controversy that surrounds her - is she gay? Straight? Where are her boyfriends, or girlfriends?
These two must endure both the test of time and love. Is their love strong enough to withstand those tests?
This book is amazing! We often wish we could be time travelers, but we never stop and think of the consequences. We never stop and think how horrific it could be! Henry must relive some horrible events in his past, and he cannot escape them! Imagine reliving an embarrassing moment, that you can never let fade away in the past. I enjoyed being a part of their love story! It made me think of my own relationship to my husband, and how much I cherish every second with him - how I hate when he's away and cannot wait to see him again. It is hard for me to imagine my husband popping in and out of my past and future, never knowing when he will be gone, and for how long.
I have one small issue with the book. When Ms. Niffenegger would have two dates, like November 23 1988, and July 12, 2000 she would not separate them. Hm. I'm trying to think of a better example because obviously when Henry time travels backwards the music and cloths would change. There were some dates that would run together and I wouldn't necessarily be able to tell present from past.
The Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. New York: A Harvest Book (c) 2003.