Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Book Details
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Paperback, 546 Pages
2004, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
ISBN: 015602943X

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.

An enchanting debut and a spellbinding tale of fate and belief in the bonds of love, The Time Traveler's Wife is destined to captivate readers for years to come.

The Time Traveler's Wife is a genre blending novel that kept me turning the pages almost faster than I could read them. A mix of romantic chick lit and time travel science fiction, this much hyped novel surpassed my expectations.

I was warned repeatedly before beginning The Time Traveler's Wife that I should stock up on tissues. While I did not experience the big, ugly cry while reading this book, it certainly tugged on my heart. Henry and Clare's relationship is unusual in its origins, but utterly realistic in its emotion. While love was a major theme, it was occasionally overshadowed by fear. Because of their love, they feared for themselves, for each other and for what the future might bring. Henry's ability to travel through time brought them more uncertainty than reassurance, yet Clare's faith in him never wavered.

I'm terribly sorry to say, I did not love the ending of The Time Traveler's Wife. Perhaps it stayed true to Clare's ability to wait for Henry however long she needed to and may have even been a testament to her strength and love, but I felt it seemed more like abandoning the rest of her many years of life for one fleeting moment of happiness in the distant future. With all that she went through to be with Henry, how her whole life lead up to their official meeting, I would have liked it better had she finally, for once in her life, thought of herself instead of constantly waiting for Henry. While very much in character for her, I would have rather had her evolve as a character by the end.

Thoroughly engrossing and never confusing despite many shifts in time, this book is a must read for romance and science fiction fans alike. Completely unique, often unusual, and many times unexpected, The Time Traveler's Wife is a reading experience not to be missed.


Audrey Niffenegger's website

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