The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
A dazzling novel in the most untraditional fashion, this is the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare’s passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap, and it is Audrey Niffenegger’s cinematic storytelling that makes the novel’s unconventional chronology so vibrantly triumphant.
I’ve never actually seen the film, although I knew enough to know that it’s very sad, so when a friend offered to lend me the book, I jumped at the chance. I’d seen a lot of good reviews of the book, and I’d been dying to read it for a while. I seem to have a thing for books that I know have sad endings. I had very high expectations for this book, and it certainly did not disappoint.
This cover says so much about the book. It shows a lot about the events of the first part of the book, and it’s also very pretty and simple. There’s not too much going on. The title stands out and I just really like this cover.
This book never stops going. It’s a fast-paced read where something new is always going on, mainly because of Henry’s ability to time travel. His story is full of twists and turns, and some parts of the book just creep up on you as you’re reading whereas others have been ‘foretold’ by Henry and you know they’re coming. Although Henry’s story was brilliant, Clare’s story is so interesting yet heartbreaking too. She goes through a lot in the book, and there were so many times when I felt so sorry for her. The thing about The Time Traveler’s Wife is that there were some moments that made me smile so much and the next moment had me crying and shouting at the book. Reading it was definitely worth the pain I went through though.
The two main characters are, of course, Henry and Clare. Henry is a character who develops over time, and it’s interesting to see Henry as he goes back and forth through time. One moment his character will have developed a lot, and the next I’d be reading about his 27-year-old self who hasn’t even met Clare. I liked the way a lot of his development revolved around Clare and how she changes him.
Similarly, I love Clare. Her character also changes a lot through the course of the book, and a lot of those changes are because of Henry. She’s a very strong character who can cope with anything that the book throws at her, and she keeps on going through the hard times in her life.
There are some great side characters in the book too, such as Henry’s dad and Gomez & Charisse. All the secondary characters have their own stories and problems, and I really liked the way those stories were weaved into the plot.
The Little Things
Time travel. I am a fan of time travel. It’s always an interesting plot point, but it only works if it’s done well, which it certainly is in this book. The way it works, and the fact that it’s a genetic disease, is really interesting and I love the way it works in the book.
Henry and Clare’s relationship was so perfect. I loved the way it developed over time, and the way the book made me laugh and cry with the two of them.
The ending killed me. It was written so well and so full of emotion, and the letter was horrible.
I really loved this book. It easily gets on to my list of favourite books read in 2013. If you’re considering reading it, I would definitely recommend it. I would also recommend it to anyone who wants some time travel, romance or feels like crying. A lot.