Review: The time traveler’s wife–Audrey Niffenegger

The Time Traveler's Wife
The Time traveler’s wife
Audrey Niffenegger

Goodreads summary:

Audrey Niffenegger’s dazzling debut is the story of Clare, a beautiful, strong-minded art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: his genetic clock randomly resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous and unpredictable, and lend a spectacular urgency to Clare and Henry’s unconventional love story. That their attempt to live normal lives together is threatened by something they can neither prevent nor control makes their story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.

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First things first: I saw the movie before I read the book. Don’t judge me for it, I didn’t even know it was a book back then. But it definitely did get me interested in the book so I bought it and when I finally got around to reading it, I liked it a lot. I gave it enough of what I like to call a “grace period” (letting my memories of the movie fade a bit to give the book its own chance to shine. I do this the other way around as well. I just think that the two mediums are so different that you can’t expect them to tell the story in the same way.) and was able to look at it without too much prejudice.

I loved how all the chapters were time stamped, it made a lot of sense for the book and it definitely helped to clear out the storylines. I think the book would have been very confusing if it weren’t for these time stamps. Another thing I really liked in this book is how human both Clare and Henry are. They’re not just happy in love, they are impatient and sometimes they hide the truth and situations were not always dealt with in the best ways. But it gave so much more depth to the story to see these two very human people fall in love instead of two perfect characters. They weren’t cutely flawed, they were flawed as all of us are.

The concept of time travel in this book is a very interesting one and I like how it was integrated into the story. It was a real booster to the story and definitely helped to lift this romance to a higher level. The writing itself in this book was good but not great. I didn’t notice the writing all that much, neither in the positive nor the negative sense. The flow of the book was something I did notice, and when I did it was never in a good way. At times the story would just really linger on very mundane scenes, while at other times it would skip over what seem to me like more interesting and important scenes (which could have used further depth to create a fuller story).

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