Monday, July 16, 2012

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Book Summary (from

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
My Review

I’ve heard a lot of people talking about hits book, heck, even IO9 talked about the anticipation for the movie adaptation (FYI, I haven’t seen the movie yet, but soon). So here I was, almost 9 years later reading the book. 

The story is told from the 2 main characters points of view, Clare and Henry, and we keep jumping in time with Henry. This made it difficult to fall in the story at first, since sometimes I didn’t realize that the “voice” changed. But you get used to it. 

Henry time travels, it started when he was very young, and it seems to be related to stress. One big point this book has for me, is that it doesn’t involve a machine, or magic, is just a mutation that causes “Chrono Impairment Disorder”. This is the first time I read a book that touches the subject and goes to it through genetics, and I loved the idea. The fact that Henry eventually consults a geneticist and they build a whole science grant from there…well, that was just an added bonus for me.

All of the characters are depicted as flawed; they have issues, deep and sometimes gruesome. I remember reading someone’s critic to the fact that everyone seemed to be “too rich” or something like that. All though is true that the characters are described as well accommodated, I don’t see why this was a problem for the story. The same person complaint about the book having too many descriptions of food…certes this was not necessary, but it was yummy ;)
So back to the story, Henry and Clare meet, for her it starts when she is 6, and she starts learning all this things about this man called Henry, and yet he remains a mystery. When their timelines finally merge, he doesn’t recognizes; it was an older him that visited Clare.

I found the story romantic, a love that lasted forever. But there is so much sadness floating in the book. Is not a happy love story, and just so you know, is not a happily ever after story either. The relationship that is built between Clare and Henry is pretty much the same type that anyone of us has, you slowly meet and get to know the person, and when you love them, you love them even with the parts of them that you hate.  

There is a point that really touched me, Clare is talking to her Grandma, and she raises the point that in children stories, is always the side of the kid going on an adventure (think Peter Pan) that is being told; the fun part. But no one tells us about the stressful nights that Wendy’s mom spent wandering where their children went. This book shows us Clare, as the one left behind, the one who spends countless nights wondering if Henry is ok, if he is coming back, safe and sound.

Did I like the book? Yes I did. It wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but it was well written, simple prose, yet with a lot of meaning behind the things happening. I would’ve liked for the characters to be a bit more constructed, sometimes there were things happening that didn’t seem to have a background, but this doesn’t kill the story in anyway. I wouldn’t change the end...I cannot tell you why, because that would be ruining it, but I think that the end is fit for the story told.


  1. I have this book on the shelf waiting to be read.
    I had never thought about it but yes, stories usually don't have the point of view of the person left behind.

    1. Hi Hellen, indeed, is a side often neglected. I hope you like the book, is certainly entertaining.