Reading Level: Adult
Audrey Niffenegger's innovative debut, The Time Traveler's Wife, is the story of Clare, a beautiful 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 finds himself periodically displaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing.
The Time Traveler's Wife depicts the effects of time travel on Henry and Clare's marriage and their passionate love for each other, as the story unfolds from both points of view. Clare and Henry attempt to live normal lives, pursuing familiar goals -- steady jobs, good friends, children of their own. All of this is threatened by something they can neither prevent nor control, making their story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.
The Time Traveler's Wife is a book that is hard to describe. It's different than any other love story I've ever read, and for that reason I completely love it.
Clare has known Henry since she was a little girl, and she knew almost from the beginning that she would end up married to him. It is this detail that makes the novel so interesting and the love so different: as a reader, I was constantly wondering how Clare could handle such a life, because she could never be sure that her love is true, or if it was simply an obligation to be fulfilled. While it's clear that Henry and Clare's love was strong, there was always something more behind it.
The story itself is a different take on time travel as well; instead of seeing it as something supernatural, it's simply a fact of life that must be worked around and suffered through. And personally, I've always loved time travel stories, so this love story was right up my alley.
While I feel the book got off to a slow start- too much dialogue, I would say- it definitely picked up and rocked my world. I was so into the story that it was impossible to give up, even after I'd turned the last page. I'd definitely recommend it to someone who's looking for a good, solid romance.