I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.
Jeremiah 31:13 (context)
Few fictional events wring tears from my eyes. Sorrowful movies and tragic books leave me melancholy but dry-eyed; only Dead Poets Society routinely brings an empathetic tear to my eye. When I started Time Traveler’s Wife, I knew it ended sadly because the bookstore lady hinted as much. But I hardly expected to find myself weeping at the conclusion. As I started it, I became so engrossed in the characters, in the story, in the quixotic and often confusing flow of their lives that I forgot, even though the author actually drops a hint in at one point. Slowly I remembered and then fought, as you must, against the inevitable — willing the author to write a different ending, the characters to rise up against their bonds and force a different, happier conclusion. But inevitably the end comes, and it’s not only sad, it’s poingnantly bittersweet and that just makes it sadder in the end.
The upshot is that I read the entire book this weekend, with tears literally rolling down my cheeks. I can say that among the books I have read in the last year, this one stands out for its high writing quality, the uniqueness of its premise and plotline, the author’s exquisite attention to detail, and its absolute heartwrenchingness. Wonderful.