The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Audrey Niffenegger’s innovative debut, The Time Traveler’s Wife, is the story of Clare, a beautiful art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity in his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing.

there is only free will when you are in time, in the present.

Even though I’ve watched the movie, I’ve waited a long time to read the book as I’ve known it might be a heartbreaking tale of two people loving each other and one waiting for the other to come. I don’t like waiting stories. Clare does nothing but wait.

I’m sad that Clare wasn’t able to have a normal life, but in other respects she was lucky. She met her soul-mate at six. Even after Henry dies Clare continues to wait for him to come back because he told her that he would be back when she is 82. Clare waits for her future, she waits for Henry, and she waits for a baby. Clare wants to have her own biological child and Henry just doesn’t want to go through with it anymore. Henry gets a vasectomy, but Clare gets pregnant by a younger Henry so they do end up having, Alba. Talk about women saddling down men!


When Clare meets Henry at the age of 28 years old in the present she already knows a lot about him and Henry knows nothing about Clare. Henry time traveling to Clare’s past has happened yet, but for Clare she has already know Henry her whole life. The author is always filling us in on missing pieces of the puzzle as Henry and Clare go through there life. Henry knows things that are going to happen that he doesn’t tell Clare about such as his death


I could not finish the book though. I really tried but this one was like trying to swallow a stone. Not going down at all. Why you ask?

  • The book is huge. I’ve got nothing against large volumes if they tell a good story.
  • My biggest issue here is that Clare’s life has been entirely determined by Henry, with a little help from his unknown ally, the Catholic Church. Henry’s told her what her life is and will be: She will be his wife. And because of her Catholic upbringing, the concept of predestination is not at all foreign to her (remember, God has a plan for us all), and so she accepts it as a matter of course.
  • How does she know that he’s not lying to her, or manipulating her into the life he claims she will live with him? She doesn’t know anything at all about him other than the fact that he shows up naked in her yard repeatedly and claims to be her husband in the future. To me, the time travel itself isn’t enough evidence. He could be a time traveler AND a liar.
  •  The plot was convoluted. I can say this fairly because I read it in practically one sitting, and while I was able to keep things straight, it would have served the book better to not attempt to take in so many sub-plots and minutia (like he bought groceries, he knows how to get around in Chicago, Clare likes to clean her studio, he is not just a punk rock poser but the real deal, complete with his cherry red Docs)
  • Henry is not a great guy
  • The whole time I was reading I was wondering why the author chose to have him time travel naked. To me it seemed like if it weren’t for his constant pursuit of clothes there may be some real chance at something actually happening in the story.
  • Gory miscarriage scenes
  • There’s absolutely ZERO conflict in this book.
  • These characters were selfish, pretentious and self absorbed. And the credibility goes right out the window when they win the lottery. Come on!

1/5 Burn pile

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