The Time Traveler’s Wife

by Audrey Niffenegger

I love this book.  Clare and Henry’s love is so awesome, it helps them surmount the meaninglessness and cynicism that could take over their lives.  The settings, beautiful Michigan and diverse Chicago, voice, originality, character development and pacing are excellent.  It does seem a little slow and meander-some at first with no clear problem/solution scheme, but you can look past that and enjoy the sights.

Yes I loved it, but I’d also caution that this book for more mature readers.  Clare and Henry are a very happy couple.  As characters, their emotional depth was magnificent.  I like how Henry grew up and became a much better person.

I hated it when Henry lost his feet.  That was devastating.  Did it have to happen?  I think not.  Neither did I like the inevitability, such as when Henry is 15 and his dad walks in on him and himself, he says that he was powerless to do anything.  I prefer a view of time travel along the lines of Artemis Fowl and Harry Potter III.

Recently I heard that my cousin’s wife had a miscarriage.  Before reading this book I never grasped how devastating and actually dangerous a miscarriage can be, now I am equipped with a new sense of empathy for women who experience one.  Clare had six.

And bonus, after reading it and loving it, I went to a library book sale and got The Time Traveler’s Wife on cassette for 10¢.  Ten cents!!  My car doesn’t have a CD player so this will be perfect for long car trips across Iowa.

Some interesting facts: According to The Straits Times, Audrey Niffenegger dyed her hair red to say “goodbye” to the novel after she had finished writing it.  From The Independent, Niffenegger based Clare and Henry’s romance on the “cerebral coupling” of Dorothy Sayer’s characters Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane.

She said about the prospect of her book becoming a film, “I’ve got my little movie that runs in my head. And I’m kind of afraid that will be changed or wiped out by what somebody else might do with it. And it is sort of thrilling and creepy, because now the characters have an existence apart from me.” (James Cowan, “Niffenegger’s first book, and it’s about time,” National Post)  Filming began in September 2007 and the movie is scheduled to be released by Warner Brothers on 14 August 2009.  Personally I hope to never see it because I feel exactly like Niffenegger about books turned into movies.

I can’t wait to read what comes next from the great Audrey Niffenegger!  Her second novel, the forthcoming Her Fearful Symmetry, has been called “one of the most eagerly sought-after works in recent publishing history”. (The New Zealand Herald)


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