The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger

This book has been sitting on my to-read shelf for a very long time, so since I'm trying to read more adult novels this year, I thought I'd finally open it.
Blurb: When Henry meets Clare, he is twenty-eight and she is twenty. Henry has never met Clare before; Clare has known Henry since she was six. Impossible but true, because Henry finds himself periodically displaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. Henry and Clare's attempts to live normal lives are threatened by a force they can neither prevent nor control, making their passionate love story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable. The Time Traveler's Wife is a story of fate, hope and belief, and more than that, it's about the power of love to endure beyond the bounds of time.

The Good: I expected the jumping back and forth in time, and the alternating POV's to be confusing, but Niffenegger has truly created her own art-form here. It worked perfectly, and if I ever felt slightly lost, I just checked the chapter headings, which included the date and character ages. The plot is captivating, probably because the premise is so wonderful. Time traveling caused by DNA? Gold. The exploration of the protagonists, Clare and Henry, and there relationship is fun, sweet, and intriguing at the same time, as the novel raises questions on fate, and free will.

The Bad: I felt that the side characters and their relationships to the protagonists were sidelined, in particular Gomez, who is something of an antagonist, but isn't fully formed enough for a reader to feel any true feelings towards. In addition, Henry comes across as a lovely character from Clare's POV, but in several parts (particularly when he's younger) he's very unlikeable, and his growth from complete jerk to love-of-Clare's life material isn't really shown.

Extra tid-bits: 1) I feel that I should put a word of caution in here. There are several sex scenes in this novels, and I have found that most people who have given this novel a bad review, have done so because they were put off by this. If you are of a sensitive disposition in regards to sex in novels, then I recommend steering clear, but personally I didn't find it over the top.

2) I felt a little teary in parts, so if you want a feel-good read this might not be for you!

3) There has been a movie made, and I must admit that I saw the movie first. Because Eric Bana played Henry, and it was ERIC BANA, I may have been a little disappointed in the novel's portrayal of Henry, purely based on my own expectations.

The Verdict: A beautifully written, poignant love story. Highly recommended.

Writer's Block NZ's Verdict: 8/10



DeniseCovey_L_Aussie said...

Great review JJ. I don't like this book that much and am a bit concerned that most of my high school students relish it. No doubt because of the sex.


Dawn Embers said...

Interesting review. I have only really known about the story because of the movie and that was only due to the commercials for it. Never really considered reading the book as it didn't seem like my type but I'm sure many enjoy it.

Heather@The Flyleaf Review said...

I read this book a couple of years ago and loved it. Like you, I did have to return to the chapter headings to remember when and where we were, and I remember being just blown away by the authors imagination and ability to tie everything together in the end. Oh, and I cried my eyes out too. Great review, I agree with all your points completely:)

Anonymous said...
Nice review!!
Here's another review on Time Traveler's Wife! Really appriciate it if you gave your thoughts on it. thanks.

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