When a young man and woman meet for what appears to be the first time in the Chicago library where he works, she, artist Clare Abshire, knows that they have met several times over the course of her life, most recently when she was eighteen, while he, Henry DeTamble, who doesn’t have that recollection, knows that her assertion of them having met can be true because he, since he was six years old, has been able to travel through time, albeit involuntarily That travel involves visits to times and places where he can visit himself in other time periods, but each version of himself only knows what that version has seen or experienced, which is why this version of Henry has no recall of Clare. His journeys, which are aggravated by alcohol intake, often tend to be to times and locations that are touchstones to whatever is going on in his life at the time, which is why he frequently visited Clare and before always in the meadow behind her wealthy parents’ house. He also understands that he has no ability to change the past, such as preventing the death of his opera singer mother Annette on that dreadful day when he was six, or to influence the future in his travels. While she already knows he is the love of her life, he, too, rapidly realizes this. They decide to marry despite their reservations. As their connection develops, the reality of his illness have a dramatic impact on how they interact to one other, while his trips carry him farther and further into the future in order to influence what happens in the present. As a result, the philosophical question of whether people have any choices in their life or if they are predetermined is raised.