The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
Posted 2 September 2008on:
The title promises a tantalizing story. A time traveler? I love stories that involve time paradoxes! Time traveler’s wife? Even better! I’m always drawn to stories that takes a fantasy element and puts it in an everyday context, i.e. focusing on the ordinary rather than the extraordinary. This must be a story about how time travel affects the life of this couple. A quick look at the blurb shows that this is indeed the case.
And so we follow the love story between Clare and Henry. She first met him when she was six and he was thirty-six, already married to her future-self. He first met her when she was twenty, having spent her childhood with him, and he was twenty-eight, ignorant of her and their future. I like how at any given time one of them always knows more than the other, while the other is clueless about their history together. I especially like the parts when Henry is with young Clare, or with Alba. I feel that it is these parts that show the full effect of time travel on the relationship between the characters.
Unfortunately, the rest of the story is a bit bland, offering almost no internal conflicts between Clare and Henry, as if their only problem in this world is time travel. We see very little of how they fall in love, for example, only that their love is “meant to be”. And the fatalistic nature of the time paradox is rather depressing at times.
So, three stars from me. The novel has a great premise and some good parts, but on the whole it falls short in the execution.