Friday, 4 December 2009

Book Review: The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger


I must be one of the very few people who had not read this book. When it first came out I was really put off by all of the hype surrounding it plus I hate books that jump back and forth which this one obviously would. However, the release of the film caught my interest and I decided to give the book a go. I am so, so glad that I did because I think that The Time Traveler's Wife is simply stunning.
It is the love story of Claire Abshire and Henry DeTamble. They met when Claire was six and Henry thirty-six and then they married when Claire was twenty-two and Henry was thirty. Confusing? The concept took a little bit of getting used to but the idea is that Henry suffers from a genetic condition which causes him to involuntarily travel back and forth in time.
Audrey Niffenegger has created a basic love story with extraordinary circumstances. I loved the realness of Claire and Henry's relationship; Claire admits that she sometimes quite enjoys the time to herself that she gets when Henry disappears, even though it is always a huge relief when he returns. Henry and Claire are beautifully constructed characters and we are told the story from both of their perspectives which adds another dimension to the book.
As the reader, I very quickly accepted Henry and the condition he has. I felt like this was mirrored in the character of Claire, she meets Henry when she is only six years old and so the way he is, is almost normal to her as she has not really known anything different. I did think that when other characters in the book were made aware of Henry's condition they accepted it very quickly. I am not sure in real life if I would believe in something like that without wanting to ask hundreds of questions first.
Audrey Niffenegger explores relationships, love, loss, loyalty, absence and loneliness through her story of Claire and Henry. I could not put this book down and the ending had me in tears mainly because I just did not want the book to finish. I think that this is a beautiful book and I only wish that I had read it sooner. I will not be waiting so long to read the author's new book Her Fearful Symmetry which has been getting rave reviews. I'm not sure now that I have finished the book of The Time Traveler's Wife whether I will watch the film adaptation or not. I'm a little worried that it will be no where near as good as the book. If you, like me are one of the few who haven't read this yet then I urge you to get a copy, I loved it!

12 comments:

verity said...

I read this a while ago, but am afraid I did not feel enthused by it at all. I just did not really find that the premise of the book worked for me.

bethsbooks said...

I haven't read this yet, it is on my huge TBR pile though! Thanks for the great review and for your lovely comment on my blog.
Hugs, Bethxx

Dot said...

Verity- to be honest, I was really surprised that I liked it as I don't normally enjoy books of this nature but I was totally carried away with this one!

Dot said...

Beth- Hope that you enjoy reading it as much as I did! Have a lovely weekend! xx

savidgereads said...

Oh this is one of my favs. The film is good, it didnt annoy me which can happen when your favourite book becomes a film. I did think they were quite different though so it didnt destroy my images of when I read the book. That didnt make any sense did it hahaha?

Dot said...

Simon- I know what you mean! I might watch the film as I love Rachel McAdams and I think she would be a very good Claire.

Alayne said...

Beautifully put. I loved this book as well and have wanted to re-read it. I'm sure I'll see the movie eventually, but I'm not rushing out for it or anything. The book was too good.
Alayne
The Crowded Leaf

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

I didn't read the book and the movie very close together so my memory might be a little foggy but I thought the movie was pretty god. Definitely more easy to follow if you have already read the book.

Melody said...

I think I must be the last person on earth to read this book! It's been sitting on my pile for too long! I look forwarding to reading it next year though.

Dot said...

Alayne- Thank you, I think I will definitely read this book again in the future and probably get something new from it.

Nicole- I might try and watch the movie in the future, it was all the adverts for it that made me finally read the book!

Melody- Glad that it's not just me then! Hope that you enjoy it next year.

Bookalicious said...

Glad to hear you enjoyed it! I read it years ago and it's one of my all-time favourite books! I loved it and would love to read it again if I had the time, but sadly I don't so I'll just watch the film in the near future. The trailer looks very promising! :)

Dot said...

bookalicious- I really enjoyed, I can't stop telling people about it! The trailer's do look good, I like the idea of Eric Bana as Henry!

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