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The Time Traveler's Wife Paperback – May 6, 2014
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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover," illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Learn more
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“[A] time-travel love story par excellence…It will be a hard-hearted reader who is not moved to tears by the dangers Henry and Clare ultimately face, and by the author’s soaring celebration of the victory of love over time.” (Chicago Tribune)
“As Clare and Henry take turns telling the story, revealing the depth of their bond despite everything a sci-fi premise becomes a powerfully original love story.” (People (Top Ten Books of the Year))
“Spirited…Niffenegger plays ingeniously in her temporal hall of mirrors.” (The New Yorker)
“Readers will recall in Love in the Time of Cholera a love that works despite all travails and impediments…Marquez, like Niffenegger here, means to tell us that for such exalted love there is no tragedy and never any constraints.” (The Washington Post Book World)
“Niffenegger’s inventive and poignant writing is well worth a trip.” (Entertainment Weekly)
“Moving, razor-edged prose…Niffenegger writes with the unflinching yet detached clarity of a war correspondent standing at the sidelines of an unfolding battle.” (USA Today)
“A singular tale of a charming man with a funny condition (he slips in and out of time) and the woman who loves him. The setting, the city of Chicago, is luminous.” (San Francisco Chronicle)
“As if love weren’t complicated enough, debut author Niffenegger dreams up a happy couple plagued by a peculiar problem…It is to Niffenegger’s credit that she avoids cheap shots and develops her innovative concept in some exceptionally strange and witty ways.” (Time Out New York)
“Contrary to appearances, The Time Traveler’s Wife is a very old love story: wonky, sexy, incredible…charmingly, inventively retold and none the worse for it.” (The Times (London))
“An extraordinary novel with a unique premise…Niffenegger compassionately develops her unique characters, with the grace to accept their difficult circumstances, as well as their blessings. Don’t be deceived by the easy charm of Henry and Clare’s relationship; they will draw you into their small circle, make you complicit with their dreams and disappointments. They will break your heart.” (Curledup.com)
About the Author
Audrey Niffenegger is a visual artist and a guide at Highgate Cemetery. In addition to the bestselling novels The Time Traveler’s Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry, she is the author of three illustrated novels, The Three Incestuous Sisters, The Adventuress, and The Night Bookmobile, and the editor of Ghostly. She lives in Chicago.
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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.
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.
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.
Read The Time Traveller's Wife, then read it again. And again.
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.