Friday, June 1, 2012

Book Review: The Time Traveler's Wife

I have walked past displays of The Time Traveler’s Wife, hardly giving it a second though for a few years until one day I found it on the sale rack at the discount book store. I didn’t buy it but I felt compelled to read it so I borrowed a copy from a friend and set in to read a book everyone else has already read.

Within the first six pages I was smitten by the love story tangled in a bit of Sci-Fi. Niffenegger has a way making something that is so completely impossible seem like something that could be happening right now without our knowing. She explains away the time traveling as something similar to epilepsy, a chromosomal disorder that has yet to be discovered.

The story is not given to the reader in a chronological order because that is not how Henry lives his life. This gave me a feel for how Henry must have felt his entire live. Waiting for his future to unfold like a mystery, reliving painful events over and over again, knowing the future but not being able to divulge it to the people closest to him.

Niffenegger foreshadows discreetly and obviously at the same time. At times I was very confused about how something happened only to realize a few chapters later we had not been told how it happened yet. All open loops are eventually closed but the excitement of the book is waiting for something to unravel in an often out of order sequence only to be tied in a bow before the end of the novel.

The way she moves from Henry’s voice to Clare’s voice and back to Henry is a beautiful dance. Giving each their own spotlight and allow the reader to see not only the Time Traveler’s Wife’s story but also the Time Traveler himself.

I have heard criticism regarding the length at which Niffenegger will describe a scene such as a game of pool or the art of paper making. I do not agree with this criticism. I felt the book often read like a dance, the detail added to that movement which added to my enjoyment of this novel.

I was moved by this unconventional love story and refreshed to read something original. I give this book 4 stars.


Erin said...

I have this on my to read list. Is this my copy you have or us my copy somewhere buried here in my stack-o-books...? I have been wanting to read this one for awhile as well!

Kara said...

I picked this up at HPB for $2 on that trip where you were texting me crazy things and I nearly wet my pants. Remember that? Anyway, you can borrow it. I love this book!

Erin said...

Hahha, oh thats right!! I have it in my pile then.