Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Originally posted Tuesday, December 30, 2008

An imaginative and fascinating debut

I loved this book. I know many have written about The Time Traveler’s Wife so I will try to keep this short. Many books have been written on the premise of time travel, but Ms. Niffenegger has taken it to a new level. This is a love story that embraces two lives; one in real time and one lived over and over. Henry is the uncontrolled time-traveler who has no ability to either stop traveling or choose his destination due to a genetic impairment. It is as though he travels through his conscience, almost always returning to either high points of sorrow or high points of happiness. He first meets Clare, his future wife when she is six and he is 36, regardless of the fact that he is in real time just 8 years older than Clare. This could have been a disjointed book and full of imagined futuristic mumbo-jumbo or a “can I change history” type of time travel, but it is not. It is a story of two people destined to meet and marry; the fact that one of them is not “ordinary” is something they live with. I thought the book’s transitions were very smooth, the story true to itself, and if I had anything to say detrimentally, it would be that I wish I knew what happened to Alba. (Read the book, I can’t give it all away!) This would also make an excellent book club selection. This was a great debut and I look forward to reading more from Audrey Niffenegger.

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