The Time Traveler’s Wife book review

The Time Traveler's WifeClock time is our bank manager, tax collector, police inspector; this inner time is our wife.
—J. B. Priestley, Man and Time

If you must read only one science fiction story in your entire life, I recomend this novel: The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneger.

Imagine knowing the love of your life since the beginning of your childhood and knowing that somehow your life with that person will never ever be normal. That is how Claire must have felt as The Time Traveler’s Wife.

Even when I just started reading the book I already felt the sadness and the tragedy of the two people involved in the story. Claire met her soul mate when she was only six years old and Henry met his when he was twenty eight. Some people die not even knowing that they have one but I’m not sure if I could call Claire and Henry lucky.

The Time Travelers Wife novel is a first of its kind. It is a heart breaking story about two people whose love is hindered by time. If you’re the type who believes you have been taken for granted by your wife/husband or girlfriend/boyfriend, read the book. Trust me, you will value the relationship you have with them after reading it.

Okay, just incase you are all wondering if Henry rides a time traveling machine so he can do his magic, the answer is NO. Time traveling in Audrey Niffenegger’s book is done in an involuntary manner. It’s a form of gene malfunction of some sort, like epilepsy. Henry has no control over it and mostly triggered by stress. So when he time travels he has no idea where he’s at and he’s stark naked. It doesn’t matter where he goes to – in the middle of a crowd, under six feet of snow (hypothermia), in the middle of hunting season, etc. Poor Henry. Poor Claire, because she is the one left behind wondering where Henry had gone to and left worrying about his safety. Sometimes Henry comes back to her bleeding and just beaten up, sometimes almost dying and some other times whistling in elation because he just slept with a much younger (eighteen year old) version of Claire. She is the one always left to wait for Henry. Sometimes years, sometimes just mere seconds. Although she enjoys moments of being alone, she is always happy when Henry is comes back to her. She loves him regardless. He is the only man she has ever and will ever love. Her husband in the past, present and future. I don’t think that I can ever have that sort of patience for someone.

The time traveling malady is also the reason why Claire wanted to have a child with Henry. When she is left alone, she wants someone who will resemble her husband. A small person that she’ll love and take care of. The only problem is that Henry’s condition is genetic thus giving Claire six (yes, six-unbelievable!) miscarriages (check this out, the fetus’ time travels out of her womb – though it sounds sort of funny, it is not). I will not tell you though how she got the seventh and final pregnancy even when Henry had a vasectomy already – the clue is already there.

In this story, people might think that time traveling is cool. IT IS NOT. Henry can never change the past for the outcome might appear as much more horrible. Just like winning the lottery aint that easy at all. He saw his mother’s death and his own death as well but there’s nothing he could do about it. Just accept it. It’s a gift and a curse.

Miss Audrey Niffenegger, despite of being a first time writer is brilliant. She compared the novel to real and non fictional relationships. Falling for the first time, finding a soul mate, the desperation of losing someone you love, the trials, the arguments and fights, the hurt and uncertainty of waiting, breaking up, two timers, cheating and so many more. There’s no other word for it but brilliant.

Reading the book, it reminded me of a quote: “Journeys end in lovers meeting. Every wise man’s son doth know.” – Whatever that means, haha. I am no Shakespeare. Sorry

Anyway, if you’re the sort of reader that wants to have things in a “happy-ever-after way”, don’t read it. But I believe that sensible and literary addicted people are those who will understand and love novels despite whatever tragedy there may be in the end. It’s the joy of scene after scene that makes them read, not just the ending.

Nine out of ten stars for The Time Traveler’s Wife. I loved it. Advised for a mature audience. This book has a great deal of sex, some of it rather awkward in nature, and some very violent scenes as well. Proceed with caution, and, parents, please read this book before your kids attempt it.

The movie is out, and I am going to watch it! I’ll compare it to the book if it had done it justice.

An excerpt from the book:
How does it feel?
It feels exactly like one of those dreams in which you suddenly realize that youhave to take a test you haven’t studied for and you aren’t wearing any clothes. And you’ve left your wallet at home. When I am out there, in time, I am inverted, changed into a desperate version of myself. I become a thief, a vagrant, an animal who runs and hides. I startle old women and amaze children. I am a trick, an illusion of the highest order, so incredible that I am actually true.

My favorite part of the book:
I’m getting nervous. Clare never told me any of this; just that she once went on a really horrible date with some guy named Jason, who was a football player. Clare has fallen silent again.
“Clare. Did he rape you?”
“No. He said I wasn’t…good enough. He said—no, he didn’t rape me. He just— hurt me. He made me..” She can’t say it. I wait. Clare unbuttons her coat, and removes it. She peels her shirt off, and I see that her back is covered with bruises. They are dark and purple against her white skin. Clare turns and there is a cigarette burn on her right breast, blistered and ugly. I asked her once what that scar was, and she wouldn’t say. I am going to kill this guy. I am going to cripple him. Clare sits before me, shoulders back, gooseflesh, waiting. I hand her shirt, and she puts it on.
“All right,” I tell her quietly. “Where do I find this guy?”
“I’ll drive you,” she says.
– Okay why do you think that is my favorite part despite the sadism of it? Because no guy has ever defended (is that the word? I’m not sure) me like that. I mean, guys always thought that I’m a strong girl and I can take care of myself. But SOMETIMES even girls like me, like the thought of being taken cared of and protected even though they don’t look like they need it. Like I am something worth fighting for (I have a feeling feminist will counter me because of that).

Please also read this great review that I found from examiner.com (link): http://www.examiner.com/x-12391-Albuquerque-Books-Examiner~y2009m7d2-Ahead-of-its-time-Audrey-Niffeneggers-novel-The-Time-Travelers-Wife

(NOTE: I’m not in the mood for writing. I just thought that sooner or later I have to write something about it. If you think that I did a lame review or there are lots of GRAMMATICAL ERRORS, sorry, it comes with the mood which is Oh so lazy at the moment. My spine hurts! Ouch!)

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~ by akasha824 on August 19, 2009.

9 Responses to “The Time Traveler’s Wife book review”

  1. hey! loved the review! check out what i thought at my blog! http://jeezejulia.wordpress.com/

  2. I really enjoyed your review and agree with everything you said, I’m writing an essay and need to know where the rape bit is but can’t find it anywhere. Help?

    • thanks behki:)
      oh no. there’s no rape there. claire wasn’t raped. she was just beaten up by the guy she dated in high school. i believe she was about seventeen then. she had bruises all over her body and a cigarette burn under her breast. then the older henry scared off the guy by tying him naked to a tree. got what he deserved.

  3. OMG!! trish your a genius! This is a great review!! You catch all the part and meaning of the whole story!

    i cried a lot and the tears won’t stop falling when Henry died! It was soo sad yet I too am waiting for his return as I turn the pages and Voila the end proves to still be the best!It may be a sad story but for me it is still a happy ending..Thank you for referring me this book.. I miss you my friend!

    • Thanks Annie! I’m glad you liked it. It’s my favorite book! I cried for a week after reading that. Keep in touch! 🙂

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