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The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger – A Review

July 18, 2012

Back in February, a long time online friend, V.T. Eric Layton, wrote a review of an intriguing book that was right now my alley: The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger – A Review – Nocturnal Slacker v2.0 Blog.

Time Traveler's Wife image from Front cover of the first edition

Time Traveler’s Wife image from Front cover of the first edition. Click on image to visit Wikipedia article.

Paperback: 546 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (May 27, 2004)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 015602943X
ISBN-13: 978-0156029438

This haunting quote will stick with me from this book:

“It’s hard being left behind. I wait for Henry, not knowing where he is, wondering if he’s okay. It’s hard to be the one who stays.”


Amazon’s Product description for the book:

A dazzling novel in the most untraditional fashion, this is the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare’s passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap, and it is Audrey Niffenegger’s cinematic storytelling that makes the novel’s unconventional chronology so vibrantly triumphant.

An enchanting debut and a spellbinding tale of fate and belief in the bonds of love, The Time Traveler’s Wife is destined to captivate readers for years to come.

This was apparently Audrey Niffenegger’s first book based on the Wikipedia article. Here’s the introduction of the book from the Wikipedia article:

The Time Traveler’s Wife is the debut novel of American author Audrey Niffenegger, published in 2003. It is a love story about a man with a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel unpredictably, and about his wife, an artist, who has to cope with his frequent absences and dangerous experiences. Niffenegger, frustrated in love when she began the work, wrote the story as a metaphor for her failed relationships. The tale’s central relationship came to her suddenly and subsequently supplied the novel’s title. The novel, which has been classified as both science fiction and romance, examines issues of love, loss, and free will. In particular, it uses time travel to explore miscommunication and distance in relationships, while also investigating deeper existential questions.This is a great story and one I think many will enjoy!

As a first-time novelist, Niffenegger had trouble finding a literary agent. She eventually sent the novel to MacAdam/Cage unsolicited and, after an auction took place for the rights, Niffenegger selected them as her publishers. The book became a bestseller after an endorsement from author and family friend Scott Turow on The Today Show, and as of March 2009 had sold nearly 2.5 million copies in the United States and the United Kingdom. Many reviewers were impressed with Niffenegger’s unique perspectives on time travel. Some praised her characterization of the couple, applauding their emotional depth; others criticized her writing style as melodramatic and the plot as emotionally trite. The novel won the Exclusive Books Boeke Prize and a British Book Award. A film version was released in August 2009.

But it was Eric’s review that intrigued me and got me looking at this wonderful first book by Audrey Niffenegger in the first place. Thank you Eric! Here’s how Eric started his review:

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger – A Review

Ever wish you could turn back the clock, go back in time, change something in some way, right a wrong, maybe?

How ’bout going back in time and not being able to change anything that’s already happened? This is precisely Henry’s curse… and blessing. Henry is the time traveler in Audrey Niffenegger’s wonderful love story about Clare and Henry. Now don’t go running off just because I called it a love story. This burly biker dude don’t do romance books, you know. Don’t be afraid of this one, though. It’s unique.

You are so right Eric. It is unique! No wonder it became a best seller! Enjoy Eric’s review and I hope you take the time to read or listen to this unique book. Note the hardcover or paperback version at Amazon has their LookInside feature available so you can see a bit of the story and how it is written.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.


By the way, they also made it into a movie. I enjoyed the movie, it was good and well worth a look, but the book is so much better!:

  1. July 18, 2012 11:37 AM

    You finally got a chance to read it, huh. It was a special book. I originally read a library copy, but it was just one of those books I had to have, so I bought it. I’m sure it will also be one of those special few books that I’ll be reading again sometime.

    I’m glad you enjoyed it. 🙂



    • July 18, 2012 11:44 AM

      Sure did. Thanks for calling it to my attention. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

      I have read a lot of books between now and when you wrote the review. I just haven’t had time to review all of them yet! LOL!


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