Monday, January 19, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Rating 5 out of 5
“The story of Henry and Clare, who have known each other since Clare was 6 and Henry was 36, and were married when Clare was 20 and Henry 28. This is possible only because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he flashes to other points in time, usually moments of emotional gravity for him. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing.”
This book has received many rave reviews and it is not hard to see why. The story is epic and sweeping in its grandeur and is the type of book that elicits those sorts of words. The story follows the lives of Clare and Henry told from both of their perspectives as they struggle to find a normal life together in a world that is only learning about Henry’s condition. The issues dealt with in this book are emotional and real. Niffenegger writes about the issues with realism and sensitivity. There is the science fiction element to the story however it is hardly noticeable as the drama and romance of the story is far more prominent.

The prose does tend to jump around alternating between Clare and Henry, and occasionally time periods. While normally this would annoy me as a reader in this story it is appropriate and is seamlessly blended.

My main criticism (and there is only really one which is minor) is the language occasionally used by Niffenegger. During intimate scenes Niffenegger uses what would be best described as colourful language to illustrate the moment. Which is fine don’t get me wrong, for me though it just did not fit with the rest of the book. The rest of the book is this beautifully written prose that glides along with elegance and finesse and then all of a sudden there is this hideous coarse word. After the first instance I was left with the feeling of “where did that come from?” It was as surprising to me as would be to hear Mary Poppins using the f word. Other then those few (and they were few) jarring moments there is not really much else I can fault this book on.

A beautiful book which had me laughing and crying and wishing very fervently that our lives are not determined by destiny.

I highly recommended this book.


  1. Wanted to stop in and welcome you to the Young Adult Book Challenge as well as the Support Your Local Library Challenge. If you haven't already, feel free to join us at the Yahoo Groups where others are participating in this challenge as well as others.

    Also, the links to post your reviews are up in the right sidebar at J. Kaye’s Book Blog.

  2. I really liked "Dewey." It's about much more than a cool kitty.

  3. See I told you that Time Traveller's Wife was good.

  4. Oh, thanks for the awesome review! I am gonna start this book this weekend, I have heard lots of good things about it.