The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

TitleThe Time Traveller’s Wife
AuthorAudrey Niffenegger
Finished:May 16, 2022
View/Purchase (Non Affiliate)Amazon

Normally (always?) when a couple tells how they met, they agree on the date and circumstances. If one of the couple is a time traveller, that all flies out the window.  Going into The Time Traveller’s Wife I had a rough assumption about how it might play out. Nope, that assumption was totally turned on its head in the first page. Their first encounter(s) were experienced about 20 years apart. That unexpected turn of events took me a few pages to really get my head around it. By then I was all in.

Some books hook you immediately. In Lonesome Dove I was all in on the first paragraph when Augustus kicks two pigs off the porch who were fighting over a rattlesnake. The unexpected first pages of The Time Traveller’s Wife set its hook in me in a similar way. This is not a science fiction novel; rather, it is a relationship novel. The method and cause of Henry’s unplanned, unwanted, unmanageable time travel is like life. It pushes and pulls Henry and Claire through their lives apart and together. Early on, Henry tried to change history in his trips back in time; but he found it can not be done. History is inevitable; so is love. When you know so much more about a future together, how much should you share? Even though knowing won’t change anything, how much should you tell?

The novel shows Henry and Claire’s lives from their youth; so we get to see the families and friends. Each chapter lists the ages of the two. While the story more or less moves forward in time, there are plenty of jumps where Henry is different ages. I’m struggling to write this so it is coherent and without any spoilers. I can’t; I can only urge you to read this fast paced, intricate love story. It is a perfect summer read. Go for it.

I picked this novel on a whim when I saw HBO had released a limited series based on the novel. I knew about the book – which was published in 2004 – and had hazy plans to read it; but always found myself picking up something else. I finally picked it up so I could read it before watching the series. The series is meh.  But the novel is fantastic. 

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