Niffenegger manages to take a science fiction idea (i.e. time travel) and write it into a fiction novel that makes the idea of time travel almost realistic. Time travel goes from nerdy-geek to romantic-chic. The Time Traveler’s wife draws you into the story almost instantly and keeps you there until the very end.
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The story is split between two different point of views (Henry and Clare). Each chapter takes place in a different time and place and point of view. While (at first) it’s confusing keeping track of the dates and ages – it all seems to wrap up by the very end and make perfect sense. To be honest, however, I found parts to be lacking. For one – when Henry meets Clare in his present day, he is currently in a troublesome relationship with a troubled soul named Ingrid. One date with Clare and he dumps Ingrid flat and is instantly transformed by his love for Clare. Personally, if I was on a date with someone I have never met before and they were telling me all about how much they loved me and how we would eventually marry, it would sort of creep me out. At this point in time Henry is something of a “womanizer” and a bit of “trouble”. I couldn’t imagine Henry at his present day on a date with a woman, hearing her stories, and thinking, “Wow! Let me stop sewing my wild oats and drop everything and be with this woman!”
Their relationship, although full of passion and romance, seems (at times) masochistic. While Henry disappears at random times, Clare is expected to just sit and wait for his return. Sometimes the dynamic between the two main characters just seemed down right dirty. Although all interactions between Henry (age 30-something) and his future wife (as a child) were G-rated – the idea that he was there to see his child-bride seemed sort of.. off. Much like the interactions with Jacob and Baby Renesme in the Twilight Series. Something about it was just “icky”.
Overall the book was engaging and intriguing although not without fault. Niffenegger managed to take a difficult concept and tie things together so that questions did not go unanswered. The characters lacked impressive growth, but still likeable enough to continue reading without a second thought. Although this novel was far from perfect, it was still an interesting read and something I will recommend to others.
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