Friday, August 21, 2009

Book review--The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

I am crying as I write this so let me warn you--when you read this book, you had better be prepared to cry...and to laugh...and to be amazed. How does one describe a book that so seamlessly combines science fiction, comedy, and tragedy?

Henry and Clare have a relationship that transcends time...literally. Henry is what is known as a chrono-displaced person, or CDP. There are no time machines or devices. He just disappears from one time leaving a pile of clothes behind and appears in another time completely naked. He meets Clare when she is a child and they develop a friendship that carries on every time he travels back to her time, as she is growing up. When she finally meets Henry in his present, he doesn't know who she is, but she has known him for years. It all seems very confusing here as I describe it and that's the problem. This book defies description. But I'm not saying this in a negative sense. When you actually read the book, it's not confusing and that, in itself, is the beauty of it. To explain the story further here would give too much away and I do not want to do that, dear reader.

So I will focus on the storytelling. The author has taken a difficult situation (to say the least) and made it both comic and tragic at the same time. Who in life hasn't tried to see the funny side of a grave situation? I know I have. It's human to look on the bright side and Henry and Clare have a love that withstands the obstacles because of their ability to focus on the good. In the end, it has been their love that has seen them through. As Henry says to Clare, "Our love has been the thread through the labyrinth, the net under the high-wire walker, the only real thing in this strange life of mine that I could ever trust." Their love has been the only constant in time.

It is rare for a book to really touch a person to the core. This book does just that in a way that is soul-soaring and heart-wrenching, but also manages to invoke a smile in the back of your mind.

12 comments:

I apologize for word verification, but I turned it off and had close to 50 spam comments within 12 hours (nobody has time for that) so I had to turn it back on. Sorry!

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  1. I read and reviewed this book a month or so ago, I really did enjoy it and yes a few tears did fall....

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  2. I can't wait to see the movie. Now I might read the book too :)

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  3. This book came to my attention because of the movie. But the book is always better than the movie. You have made this book sound wonderful. I just might have to add it to my list of reads to pick up.

    Great review! I am left wanting to know...just know about them and what happens.

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  4. Now I definitely want to read the book.

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  5. This was one of the best books I read all year! Here is my review:

    http://bibliofreakblog.com/fiction/time-travelers-wife-iby-audrey-niffeneggeri/

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  6. Thanks everyone for the great comments! This book will always be dear to my heart. Now I'm seeing the movie this weekend. We'll see.....

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  7. I have this book on my shelf, I just have to get to it! Great review
    I have an award for you on my blog
    http://bookmagic418.blogspot.com/2009/08/bingo-blog-award.html#links

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  8. This is a great review!

    I still haven't read this book but I plan on it soon!

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  9. Great review! I had the strangest dreams while reading this novel...it is truly mind-bending. From what I hear, Her Fearful Symmetry is even better- I'll be buying it when it comes out!

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  10. Thanks for all the great comments <3

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  11. I loved this book too! Clare and Henry's love is so unbelievable (and I mean that in a good way). :)

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