The Time Traveler’s Wife
Niffenegger, A. (2003). The time traveler’s wife. San Francisco, CA: MacAdam/Cage.
Genre: Fantasy/Science Fiction (Adult)
Henry is a charming librarian…and a time traveler. He doesn’t hop into some spaceship or anything; in fact, he cannot control it at all. He sporadically travels through time—both forwards and backwards. Clare is Henry’s wife. She first meets Henry as a little girl and spends her entire life devoted to him despite his issues with time traveling. It is a story filled with both love and tragedy.
Reaction: I have been to Chicago a handful of times and have never experienced it like Henry and Clare. I really must visit the library, museums, and other places mentioned in the book!
The beginning was a little slow for me (it took me months to get past the first 100 pages) and then BANG! I could not put the book down. For me, Niffenegger’s structure was hard to adjust to. For example, one minute you are reading from child Clare’s point of view than the next, adult Henry’s view and back and forth across multiple ages in their lives. I think Niffenegger wants her readers to empathize with how scatterbrained Henry must feel but it was too much for my brain to sort out until I learned enough of the story to follow along.
My heart goes out to Clare and Henry, what a heart-wrenching way to live. The book made me think about how all events, no matter how small they may seem, influences our lives. The little things and small mannerisms meant the most to both Clare and Henry. When you think about it, it truly is a blessing to remain in the present at all times. The past is haunting and knowing the future taints the present.
A few things to note: The language and sex might be offensive to some but it is a book for adults and adults are aware of these things. The movie doesn’t do the book justice, but it usually works that way.
My hope: I would like to see a sequel written from the perspective of another time traveler. I won’t spoil anything but if you read the book, you know whom I mean.
I originally rated this 3 stars but kept thinking about the characters and bumped it up to 4 Stars