Book Review: The Time Traveler’s Wife

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I am torn between the opinion that The Time Traveler’s Wife was a very powerful love story you should read and thinking it was overly romanticized – this kind of love doesn’t exist! The story is an interesting take on time traveling and what it might look like if your ability to time travel was due to an abnormal set of genes. These time-travel genes would exert themselves in your behavior and make you disappear, usually at a time that is most inconvenient. Furthermore, you travel into either the past or the future and land buck-naked with no possessions on your body. Why was your disappearing behavior triggered? It could be do to stress and anxiety at the present moment, or for no reason at all.

At the beginning, I was immediately perplexed by the logistics of how Henry’s time traveling can happen. I kept reading and kept reading, hoping that Niffenegger would provide an explanation on the how. For example, I kept questioning “Is there a parallel timeline?”, or “Why aren’t events causal across the past, present and future?”, and “How can he keep his job as a librarian?”, as well as “Why is young Clare so accepting of Henry as a 40 year old man?” After a quarter of a way through, as a reader, you begin to accept the fact that you won’t get your answers to all these questions and you’ll just have to accept the world as it comes.

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