Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

3.5 Star

Henry, suffering from 'Chrono Displacement' disorder, travels randomly in time, dropping naked in any given year, past or present, of his life.  He drops into the clearing Clare was sitting in at six years old and a tender friendship was born. Their lives cross and pass over time as she ages, and Henry always remains a perfect gentleman. When they meet in real time years later, a romance blossoms and they fall in love never knowing when he'll disappear and reappear from their lives.

Lydia - 4 Star

We’re a little late reading The Time Traveler’s Wife and I think this affected our opinions, having heard such rave reviews about this book.  I enjoyed it overall, but wasn’t sure it lived up to all the fantastic things I had heard about it prior to reading it myself. 

At first I found the time traveling distracting and slightly confusing, but once I settled into the book, it didn’t get in the way of my reading.  I thought this unique story was written beautifully and the character’s richly portrayed.  Clare and Henry remained in my mind long after I read the novel.

I did however find the book started to drag somewhat for me about a third of the way through.  I think it was the anticipation of something happening and I definitely wanted to know what it was, but it seemed to take forever to find out and not enough seemed to happen in between to satisfy my patience.

Unfortunately I’m afraid The Time Traveler's Wife didn’t quite live up to the hype for me.  Overall, it was quite good, but I didn’t think it was as fantastic as everyone had said it would be, nor did I bawl my eyes out at anytime which I heard might occur – and I am a romantic sentimentalist so it surprised me that I didn’t!

Kathryn - 3 Star

I must say that having just finished this novel, I’m still not sure if I really liked it. I was happy to find that the back and forth in time wasn’t as confusing as I first thought it was going to be - a testament to the author’s writing.

Henry travels through time and Clare is the woman he marries and she stays in her present time.  The novel follows their relationship and at first it jumps backwards in time frequently as Henry from the future goes back to meet Clare from the past. He actually introduces himself to Clare when she is just a child so she is aware of him her whole life, well before they meet in the present.  Each section is defined by a date and the ages of Clare and Henry which is very helpful.

I’m not sure though that I liked either Henry or Clare much- that may be because I found the whole concept disconcerting and not a reflection on their actual characters?  Henry obviously has had a weird existence but I’m not sure I was entirely feeling for their love for each other- and Clare would have really had to love Henry to spend her life waiting for him to meet her and then staying with someone who kept disappearing. It’s possible that there was a lot of storyline to cover and I lost some of the feeling in it.

I would say it’s worth reading The Time Traveler's Wife but I probably wouldn’t read it again!

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