The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

The Time Traveler’s wife spent a long time at the top of the best-sellers lists, and was even made into a film, so I happily agreed to review it for the member’s magazine (although a small confession, this is my second time reading it!)  

At its heart, The Time Travellers wife is a good old fashioned love story – but with a twist.   

The book starts with 28 year old Henry and 20 year old Clare meeting in a library but whilst Henry has no idea who Clare is, she seems to know everything about him.  As it turns out, Henry has a condition called chrono-displacement which means he will travel to different places and times dropping in on various moments throughout their lives. This is why Clare met him for the first time at the age of 6 whilst Henry was 40-something.  

From there the book unravels as you discover more about their non-linear love story and their eventual attempt at building a normal life together even when Henry keeps being torn away from the present (his time travelling is never his choice). 

It is part thriller, part fantasy, but also very much a love story as Henry and Clare’s love is the thread throughout the novel.

I loved this book and found it difficult to put down.  Although it jumps around (which can be difficult to follow) I found the way it was written extremely clever and often found myself looking back through the previous chapters to try and piece everything together (each chapter starts with a date and their relative ages). The characters of Henry and Clare are written with great detail (though sometimes they seemed a little farfetched) and I enjoyed the developing stories of the people around them (Gomez, Charisse, Kimmie, Henry's dad) who eventually come to find out why Henry seems a little odd at times, though I think they were a little underused.

I won’t tell you how it finishes but towards the end the novel gains pace and you feel you are racing towards the inevitable.

Throughout the novel, our relationship with time is explored, and also how we should enjoy the simple pleasures in life, like spending time with friends and family.  

If you can stomach the romance and just go with the fantastical parts, it’s a great read.

Sarah

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