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The Time Traveler's Wife

A book by Audrey Niffenegger

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The Time Travelers Wife : Audrey Niffenegger

  • Aug 3, 2010

This book is one that truly touched my heart as I read, lifting me up and dashing me down with the main characters in their daily struggle. It speaks to the heart as a true love story should, exciting the nobler feelings of ones self and leaving the reader with hope and happiness, like one feels after swimming in the ocean and lying on the beach in the sun. 

I would recommend this book to most age readers, from young teens to grown women and men, as this book is written in a practical style, but conveys so clearly the emotions, tragedies and triumphs of a couple facing extraordinary challenges that it carries whoever reads it along with them. It is sans  flowery language and vapid prose, conveying things in a clear, simple way by letting the reader watch what happens and identify with the emotions for themselves. 

It is a book set throughout the lifetime of a woman and man, going from the late 70's into the new millennium, as science and history are discovered and made. The book focuses on the lifetime of the woman, as the main male characters lifetime becomes hard to define. Even so, the story line encompasses his life as much as hers. He is an unwilling time traveler, trapped in a chromosomal misfortune that sends him back and forth to periods in his past and future without his consent or preparedness. He is forced to learn how to survive by necessary theft, breaking and entering, pick pocketing, and other means. He somehow finds someone he can share his life with, and who will keep him connected to a point in time, through time, despite time. She is a little girl beset by a stranger at a young age. An unexpected visit from an "angel" evolves somehow and becomes a friend, a confidant, a crush, a lover, and more. She waits for him, always. She never knows when to expect him, or not expect him. She loves him always. 

The erratic interrupted relationship somehow blossoms and grows into something bigger than them both. They become more than the sum of their parts, and manage to create something anyone would be blessed to have. The writer puts a science fiction twist on the complications of a relationship, making what would seem insurmountable possible, and giving us a point of reference for our own love. This is definitely a love story, but is so accessible to all reading types by it's frank simplicity that it speaks to many, interested in science fiction, love, adventure, and a fun reading experience. 

This was made into a movie recently, which fell so short of the mark in conveying the books deep character and plot development, that I can honestly say it was the _most_ disappointing movie adaptation of a book I have ever seen. Comparing the book to the movie can only be described as comparing a NY Strip steak to cow manure. Really not worth anyones time to watch, unless it's just pure curiosity. The character development was shallow, huge amounts of the book were cut out of the film, relationship development was nonexistent, and even the effects of the movie were lacking. 

Overall this book takes one on a fun, exciting journey through the lives of two people, progressively portraying feelings, situational comedy, science fiction and the truest sense of love that can be felt through a book. I would recommend this to all readers, and especially women and men that have felt true love. 


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November 19, 2010
My wife recommended this one to me a few years back. Romances aren't really my cup o'tea, but this one was splendid, through and through.
August 05, 2010
Your review has made me reconsider reading this book. I thought it was too sci-fi for my tastes, but your description makes it clear that it's about making a relationship work despite very odd and huge obstacles. Thanks!
August 03, 2010
Well done. Though the book is not something I am particularly interested in, it was a nice introduction to its story, how the reader can expect to feel and throwing in a quick comparison to the movie was a good idea.
August 03, 2010
I really need to pick this up. It sounds lovely and so sweet. Thanks for sharing this great review, Nikki!
August 04, 2010
You sure do. It's a great read. Good job on the review
More The Time Traveler's Wife reviews
review by . July 05, 2010
The Time Traveler's Wife left me breathless the first time I read it. The writing is beautiful, and the plot original. When I first saw the book, I almost turned away, thinking to myself that I didn't want to read another chick flick or some horribly-written romance novel. But the book is far from some cheesy love story surrounding sex. It is a love story, but about two people who love each other so much, they stick with their relationship through the toughest element--time.    …
review by . June 23, 2010
This book is a fabulous read that will keep you interested from the moment you read the first sentence. It's a breathtaking love story that forces you to suspend your belief in reality; however, the love between the two main characters always feels true and genuine, no matter the scientific issues with time and space.      This book is a must read for those who like romances, but want something that feels more genuine than your typical romance novel. Generally, I don't …
review by . July 09, 2010
DELETE THESE QUESTIONS IF/AFTER YOU RESPOND!!       When I first began reading "The Time Traveler's Wife," I expected the premise to be too "out there" for me to become emotionally involved in the characters.  Not so.  I admired and sympathized with Clare, had a good old-fashioned literary crush on Henry, and was thoroughly entwined in their unique circumstances and romance.  Niffenegger is a skillful writer and the …
review by . July 02, 2010
I love a book that makes me think about something we have very basic assumptions about (time), until I'm rolling it all around in my head contemplating the possibilities. I can't stress enough how much I loved this story. It remains one of my favorite reads, and I wouldn't be surprised if I go back and read it again one day, which I almost never do. It has a strong sense of place because the author Audrey Niffenegger, who lives in Chicago, seems to know the city very well and does a …
review by . July 11, 2010
When I read this book I was so drawn into the lives of the characters that I couldn't put the book down.  I laughed, I cried, and I loved the book.  I would recommend this book to any woman or man who loves to read.  This book is both entertaining and moving. The setting of The Time Traveler's Wife is hard to describe, because of the trips the main character unwillingly takes through time.  The plot and storyline are very unique.  The book centers around a woman …
review by . July 12, 2010
I want to start off by stating that I am not a romance novel kind of girl. I love memoirs. This book, to me, was nice change of pace. It wasn't a sappy love story and that is one thing I loved about it. I am a fast reader and so for any book to take me longer than a day to read, its really saying something about the writing. This book took me 3 days to finish. Not because I couldn't get into it, but because it is so thought provoking that I would find myself stopping mid-paragraph to contemplate …
review by . July 05, 2010
The novel is far superior to the film in many ways! The characters are more developed, the love story is more in depth and the ending is brilliant!  The book takes the reader on a non-linear adventure riddled with love, adventure, and beauty. The author eloquently describes the series of events and the characters with a delicate attention that begets passion and interest. The story describes a segment of the population that I find rarely exists in modern literature, the intelligent and edgy …
review by . June 22, 2010
Niffenegger weaves a beautiful and unique story between two lovers caught in the trap of time - as Henry, the time traveling husband, moves through his past and future, Clare, the protagonist, faithfully stands by and waits for the love of her life.  Yet although one might see typecast Henry and Clare as a stereotypical man and woman, it is important to note that Henry unstereotypically vanishes in and out of her life while Clare represents stability and becomes an example for women who follow …
review by . June 27, 2010
If you like romance novels and don't have anythign to read this summer then pick up this book! It's entertaining and will keep you enthralled from beginning to end.      I enjoyed Niffenegger's writing style because it's engaging  and emotional! She begins each chapter with either Clare or Henry's name and a date. I loved how she weaves the narrative together with both perspectives and a slightly confusing but captivating sequence of events. After reading …
review by . July 01, 2010
This book is about the life of a man who travels through time and his wife. The man can travel through time but he cannot control it, it just happens. The book is about the problems the couple Clare and Henry face, because of Henry's uncontrollable time travelling trips. When they first meet Henry has no idea who Clare is, but Clare recognises him straight away and tells him a lot a lot about himself. They then start dating and when this happens henry starts going into the past to meet a younger …
About the reviewer
Nikki Koon ()
Ranked #625
I adore reading. I pick up everything I can possibly can, and am a regular at my local discount book store. I hope to share in the thoughts and opinions of everyone here on Cafe Libri!
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The Time Traveler's Wife is a 2003 novel by Audrey Niffenegger. It is an unconventional love story that centers on a man with a strange genetic disorder that causes him to unpredictably time travel, and his wife, an artist who has to cope with his frequent absences and dangerous experiences. The story is set in Chicago and South Haven, Michigan.

The novel tells the story of Henry DeTamble (born 1963), a librarian at the Newberry Library in Chicago, and his wife, Clare Abshire (born 1971), an artist from a wealthy family who makes paper sculptures. Henry has a rare genetic disorder, which comes to be known as Chrono-Displacement during his lifetime, that causes him to involuntarily travel through time. When 20-year-old Clare meets 28-year-old Henry at the Newberry Library in 1991, he has never seen her before, although she has known him most of her life. Clare's past is still in Henry's future. Henry begins to experience the events in Clare's childhood at the same time that he experiences life with the adult Clare in the present. In the novel, the future cannot be changed, and many tragic events are foreshadowed in the past.

Henry is unable to control his time traveling: when he leaves, where he goes, or how long his trip will last. His destinations are tied to his subconscious, as Henry most often travels to places he has visited or will eventually visit. Very often, Henry is taken back to the moment his mother died in a car accident that he survived, and is...

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ISBN-13: 978-1598950663
Author: Audrey Niffenegger
Publisher: Findaway World Llc
Date Published: 2003

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