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The Time Traveler's Wife Paperback – May 27, 2004
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The Amazon Book Review
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A dazzling novel in the most untraditional fashion, this is the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare's passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap, and it is Audrey Niffenegger's cinematic storytelling that makes the novel's unconventional chronology so vibrantly triumphant. An enchanting debut and a spellbinding tale of fate and belief in the bonds of love, The Time Traveler's Wife is destined to captivate readers for years to come.
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My quibbles with the story are with Clare, the wife. Much of the story is centered on her, especially when her husband is traveling, yet her character seems underdeveloped. I kept waiting for something, some event, to endear her to me, but it was never to be. It was a missed opportunity that knocked a star from the review.
I’m still glad I read it. It is long, but even if you don’t finish it, the interesting ideas Niffenegger presents are worth a look.
Read The Time Traveller's Wife, then read it again. And again.
I was immediately rewarded. This book engaged me in the first few minutes and never let go. What an amazing and unique perspective on this genre.
This is a great story.
I recommend this book to anyone who has the following characteristics: (1) Slightly nerdy, and enjoys stories having to do with time travel, and (2) Enjoys books with a strong female character and (3) Enjoys fantasies with a hunky male character.
Readers of literary fiction will probably enjoy it. It's a well-written novel -- beautifully crafted and plotted, as well.
But honestly, I didn't really like the characters. In a story like this, that's truly epic in scope, the emotions could be really powerful, the characters our way into the story.
Instead, I ultimately felt very little for either Henry the time traveler or Clare his wife. We learn so little about them and are told lots of things we never quite see (like how much they love each other, etc). Clare is beautiful (we hear it over and over again as well), but we never get a sense of much more about her as a person than that. We know even less about Henry. The people just don't feel as vibrant, or lovable, or alive, as they might.
Ultimately, their lives didn't feel quite real to me -- we are told Clare is an artist, but we never get a sense of what she creates, or why she is an artist, or of what Henry thinks of her art. Their friends are really unpleasant characters, for the most part, who just seem present because the story requires it. When Clare suddenly wants a child, instead of adding dimension or warmth to her rather chilly character, it just makes her more unlikeable than ever.
I guess I'd say I liked the plot, but didn't like the characters. And the plot kept me going even when the characters irritated or bored me. The plot keeps the pages turning all the way to the end -- you definitely do want to keep reading.
It's a good book, ultimately, and the time travel element -- as well as the matter-of-fact way the author treats Henry's malaise -- is fascinating. But it's almost like a writing exercise -- a good story, but a little cold, a little distant.
I did like the book -- I just didn't love it.