I just finished reading “The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger. It wasn’t what I expected. Then again, I didn’t know what to expect. It has a fairly unique plot line. The story switches narrators between a man and his wife. The man routinely travels in time, but the travel is spontaneous and he can’t control it. He can’t bring anything with him, including his clothes. It defines every aspect of his life, especially his relationship with Clare, which begins when she is six years old.
I’m not one for science fiction, but this book manages to be all about time travel without being about that at all. It’s really an exploration of relationships, free will vs. fate, science, medicine and mortality. It captures the struggle of being held prisoner in a body you can’t control. The writing is quite good. It has a lot of sex and pain and sadness, so watch out for that. I almost cried at a couple points. But only almost.
You could delve into a lot of psychology and philosophy with this book. It would make for great discussions in a classroom or a book club. It is rich and deep with lots of layers to delve into. “The Time Traveler’s Wife” made me think and it made me feel, always a winning combination. Niffenegger embeds readers in the two narrators; we know what they think, feel, and experience with each of their senses. Physical feeling helps make her descriptions solid and real. I love it when a book can really get inside a character. That’s what I hope to do some day with my writing.
“The Time Traveler’s Wife” was made into a movie recently. I’m afraid to see it. It’ll probably wreck the whole thing. I think I’ll just move on to another book. Overall summary: quite good, but not the best I’ve ever read.