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Peggy Farooqi
Mum of 3 (1994, 1995, 1998)- born in East Germany --lived in UK/ Kent since 1993 -- studied criminology -- love reading / writing / travelling / needlecraft 
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28 June 2014

The Time Traveler's Wife
Audrey Niffenegger
Publication Date
Novel, Romance, Time Travel


This is the extraordinary love story of Clare and Henry who met when Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-two and Henry thirty. Impossible but true, because Henry suffers from a rare condition where his genetic clock periodically resets and he finds himself pulled suddenly into his past or future. In the face of this force they can neither prevent nor control, Henry and Clare's struggle to lead normal lives is both intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.

My Review:

Though time travel is well covered in literature in many aspects and by many authors over time, the idea which sits behind this book is unique in my opinion. Essentially a love story with complications. 

Firstly, what did I like about the book? The fact that Henry's time travelling is explained - in his case, a rear genetic condition. It doesn't just happen, and there is no extraterrestrial force involved, it's all nicely grounded on this planet. No crime or CIA agents, but quite pure and simple, a love story. Clare and Henry find each other and lose each other and find each other and lose each other. The writing is beautiful and very accessible. Both Clare and Henry are great characters - not too complicated and easily likeable. 

But … I still didn't like the book as much as I probably should. Reasons? Every chapter has a subtitle with the date and the respective ages of the couple i.e. Saturday, October 26, 1991 Henry is 28, Clare is 20  or  March, 1994, Clare is 22, Henry is 30. Despite this, I still struggled to keep up with 'when' the book was and at what stage Clare and Henry where. I was too confused. I had to keep thinking constantly: ah, ok, have the met yet, where are they now in their relationship, has this and that happened yet…' It did spoil the flow of the book for me a bit, and unfortunately, left me thinking that I am obviously not intelligent enough to understand it? But I also heard that this was the exact reason why so many people did love this book. After all, this debut book was a huge commercial success. 

Maybe this is where the problem lies - quite often, so I find, when a book is a big commercial success, I read it with a different 'head' on. Keep thinking 'I must like it, everyone liked it!' and that being a bit disappointed when I think 'It's ok' but not 'I do love this'. 

Having said all this, I read this book a while ago now, and I remember that I read it really quickly (yes, as I said earlier, the writing is easy and certainly flows) - so maybe I should take myself some more time for this book and put it on my re-read pile.