Audrey Niffenegger’s ‘The Time Traveler’s Wife’

      Review – The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

the time traveler's wifeA love story about a man with a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel unpredictably, and his wife, an artist, who has to cope with his frequent absences and dangerous experiences.

This is a shining example of how reviews are pivotal in influencing a reader’s ideas, prior to even opening the front cover. I read a lot of negative comments about this book, about how it’s disjointed and slow and not as good as the movie. For so long, determined not to ruin my enjoyment of the film, I put off reading this. Jesus, I’m still so angry with myself because this book is absolutely beautiful.

“I hate to be where she is not, when she is not. And yet, I am always going, and she cannot follow.

The Time Traveler’s Wife is the story of Clare and Henry. They met when Clare was six and Henry thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-two and Henry thirty. It sounds impossible, and in our world, it is. But to Henry DeTamble, it’s a life. His genetic clock resets itself at indistinct moments, throwing him forward or backward through his own timeline by no will of his own. Clare’s left behind, waiting. Always waiting.

Their story is told through both perspectives, pieces of their lives unravelling as you get further into the novel. Clare’s bitter at times, and understandably so. Henry’s angry, helpless to the existence he has to bear. There’s a massive gap between the happiness he shares with Clare and their friends and family, and the lonely days he wanders, becoming someone he doesn’t want to be in order to survive until he is pulled back to the present.

Yes, it’s jerky and I did get confused at times, but that never detracted from my enjoyment. The hope and the love shared between Henry and Clare is lovely to read, but at the same time, their life is not perfect when they are together and there are very real elements amongst all the time travel. Their relationship is fantastically written and grows in so many different ways.

There are so many parts of this book that made me tearful, and moments so heartbreaking that all you can do is stop reading and remind yourself that in actuality, this doesn’t happen to people. It’s gripping and devastatingly beautiful and I was utterly unable to put it down.

Rating: ★★★★★

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