Monday, March 10, 2014

The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

The Time Traveler's Wife

Audrey Niffenegger
Vintage, 2004

Reading Challenges
100 + Challenge

About The Book
This extraordinary, magical novel is the story of Clare and Henry who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-two and Henry thirty. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself pulled suddenly into his past or future. His disappearances are spontaneous and his experiences are alternately harrowing and amusing. The Time Traveler's Wife depicts the effects of time travel on Henry and Clare's passionate love for each other with grace and humour. Their struggle to lead normal lives in the face of a force they can neither prevent nor control is intensely moving and entirely unforgettable. - See more at:

My Thoughts
We are reading this book for book club this month. It is only the third or fourth time I've read it and it feels like I've come back to visit old friends. Yet there were still parts that I had forgotten about, as well as parts that I remembered quite well.

We've talked about this book in both of the book groups I run at work and I think there have been mixed responses each time. This time one lady was rather concerned about the fact that Henry appeared before a very young Claire without any clothes and her thoughts immediately went to child a. Other responses have been that the characters aren't very nice and that it isn't a happy love story.

All of these views are valid. Although I don't happen to agree with them... well ok they aren't nice people... but they aren't completely repellant, so that I am able to suspend belief enough to really enjoy the story... And well hello it's about time travel!! Really the characters could have been really bad and I still would have enjoyed it because it makes time travel some what of a fictional reality.

It isn't a happy love story and this time I guess I was struck by the fact that both Henry's father and Claire don't recover from the death of their spouse. By recover I mean move on with their lives. I believe in true love but I don't believe that there is just one person for everyone. We don't really see enough of Henry's parents relationship to know why his father never moved on. With Claire, we know that there is the possibility that Henry will see her again, that keeps her waiting for him. Perhaps Henry telling her that he will come back was his perverse way of keeping her for himself.


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