Book Review: The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger tells the unusual love story of Clare and Henry, who are brought together and separated by time in unlikely ways.
Henry has a genetic mutation, which causes him to time travel without any warning and with no idea where he could end up. Clare met Henry when she was very young, and she has grown to think of him as her imaginary friend. When Henry meets Clare for the first time, he has no idea who she is, but she has an entire diary filled with their exploits and their meetings. Eventually, the two fall in love and try to make the best of their situation. Tragedy strikes after Clare gets to a point in her diary when Henry gets beaten up by her father and brother, and after, they suffer two miscarriages because of Henry’s gene mutation.
The Time Traveler’s Wife explores the frustration of both Henry and Clare, the former being unable to enjoy life the way other people do and the latter being forced to stay on the slower path. It displays the complexity of their relationship, with Clare having to adjust her lifestyle and expectations to Henry’s condition. Nevertheless, love prevails, and Clare stays by Henry’s side through everything.
Moreover, the novel also delves into the complexity of Henry’s personal struggle. Henry time travels back into his own timeline as well, meeting his younger self and having to teach him how to live with the condition and survive.
Niffenegger also takes on time-traveling as a medical condition rather than an achievement. It is shown multiple times in the novel how much the condition burdens not only Henry and Clare but their friends and family as well.
More than just a love story across time, The Time Traveler’s Wife is also a tale of life itself: full of complexities and surprises.
Paula Apolonio, a book worm and theater enthusiast, she hopes to one day pen an international bestseller.
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