I decided to read The Time Traveler’s Wife, after much discussion by Tara SG and fellow 101 bloggers on how great this book is. Can I say, that I am very glad that I did. This book is fantastic!
This book is about Henry DeTamble, a librarian, who suffers from a genetic disorder called Chrono-Displacement, which causes him to time travel unpredictably and his devoted wife, Clare Abshire, an artist who must deal with Henry’s absences.
This is the extraordinary love story of Clare and Henry, who met when Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-two and Henry thirty. Impossible but true, because Henry suffers from a rare condition where his genetic clock periodically resets and he finds himself pulled suddenly into his past or future. In the face of this force they can neither prevent nor control, Henry and Clare’s struggle to lead normal lives is both intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.
This is a science fiction novel and romance rolled into one and Niffenegger does such a great job bringing the characters to life. Henry and Clare really felt like real people. It was one of the novels that I just couldn’t put down and whenI had no choice but to go do something else, all I could think about was Clare and Henry and what were they doing now? Even the supporting characters were quite compelling and well fleshed out.
This story is one of the most interesting and engaging that I have read for a long time. The concept of having this genetic disorder, of being unable to control where you are when you want was quite compelling. This book had me pondering how would you cope mentally if you couldn’t control your life, free will was absent and your had to live your life out of order. Also the issues of true love, how strong that can be and how it suffers when the person you love is absent quite often.
Although this book jumps all over the place, as Henry is time travelling, it really follows Clare’s chronology and the plot moves forward through her life which makes it easy to follow and understand. Niffenegger takes a complex concept and explains it in a way which makes it straightforward and enjoyable.
I won’t say too much more because I think this is the type of book you need to experience fresh, without any preconceptions or too much knowledge on what happens.
My only gripe was this book did not end how I wanted it to. I felt quite let down and grumpy for a few days about this. I also felt sad that it was over because I had such a good time reading it. Overall, the book was an excellent read and it is most definitely making my favourites list. I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good love story, science fiction (although don’t expect it to be a typical sci-fi, it is very different) or just a good modern literature novel in general.