The Time Traveler`s Wife
The Time Traveler`s wife is a story of Romance and Science Fiction which was written by Audrey Niffenegger ,published by Vintage in 2005.
The story is about the romance between a man named Henry and his wife Clare. This is not a normal romance story because Henry is a Time Traveler. Henry has some sort of disorder that means he can travel through time. He does not choose to do this and he often wishes that he was a `normal' person , because he has no control over when or where he is going to go in time.
The time traveler`s wife , who the book was named after, is in fact a young woman named Clare Abshire. She meets Henry in the present when she is twenty years old and he is twenty eight . He does not recognise her , but she knows that she has known Henry since she was six years old. This may sound a bit confusing, and this story would be confusing but for the fact that the author has helpfully told us the dates, and ages of Clare and Henry in every new scene throughout the book.
Clare is an artist who makes paper sculptures and she is visiting the library when she meets the twenty eight year old Henry. She knows that they have both a future and a past together so, to his surprise, she asks him out. Clare comes from a well to do family who live in a large house with a meadow outside. It is in this meadow when Clare first meets Henry when she is a child and he is in his thirties. This may sound rather controversial , especially as Henry was wearing no clothes at the time, but this is how the story goes. To be fair to the unclothed Henry, he does turn up behind a large rock and stays there until Clare has got him some of her father`s old clothes. After the first meeting Clare always leaves a bag of clothes and some food hiding in the meadow in case Henry turns up again ( which he does numerous times throughout Clare`s childhood)
During Clare`s teenage years, her friends all think she is strange because, although she is an attractive and intelligent girl, she does not go on dates with the many boys who ask her out. Clare knows that she is in fact saving herself for her future husband , Henry.
The Time Traveler.
The time traveler in this story is a young man called Henry DeTamble who is working in a library as a librarian. Henry is an only child whose parents were both musicians, in fact his mother was a famous performer who died when Henry was only a child.
Henry had his first experience time travelling when he was five years old after an outing with his parents to a field museum. He did not like travelling through time for many reasons including the fact that he had no control over his time travel and wherever he went he would always be naked and feeling ill to begin with. The fact that he often ended up in a different place and time with no clothes ,actually turned him into a reluctant criminal . He would have to go and try to steal clothes, food and in some cases money to get by on.
Henry had often sought medical help with his time travelling problems but the doctors did not understand why he was like this. They often misdiagnosed him with medical problems that they did know about and prescribed him with inappropriate medications.
Their marriage was a strange one because on the outside they seemed like a normal couple. There were only a few very close friends and family who knew about Henry`s trouble. Clare had a very strange life living with Henry because he would often disappear suddenly and this could be a problem when other people were around and they did not know what was going on. Several of Clare`s close friends and family would warn her against marrying Henry because they thought he was strange. But Clare knew from an early age that they did get married so she did not try to change history .However, they were very much in love and they were right for each other.
My Opinion of The Time Traveler`s Wife.
I am glad that I brought this book although Science Fiction is not one of my favourite genres. My first impression of the book was that it would be about a man travelling through different time zones throughout history and I was expecting to be taken back to earlier centuries . I was very much mistaken because Henry`s time travel only took place during the course of his life . In some places the story was very sad especially when Henry was seeing himself as a baby with his late mother.
I have mentioned earlier on that this could story be rather confusing because the author takes us backwards and forwards during the course of Henry`s life. In some scenes Henry even meets himself as an older or younger version of himself. The author does make this less confusing because she always gives the date and the ages of Henry and Clare on most pages. So although sometimes we can have a fully mature Henry back in the 1970s when he would be a teenager we are informed that he is either going backward or forward in the future.
I did enjoy this book and it was the first book that I had read by the author. She has written other books that I will be looking out for in the future (excuse the pun)
Books by the same author
The time traveler`s wife was Audrey Niffenegger`s debut novel and since writing this book she has written many more including.
- Her Fearful Symmetry
- Bizarre Romance
Book or Movie?
When I brought this book some time ago, I was shopping with a friend and is was her who pointed the book out to me. She told me that The Time Traveler`s wife was a good story. So I asked her if she had read the book herself. She told me that she had not read the book , but she had seen the film instead so she did not bother reading the book. So I brought the book on her recommendation and then we got into a conversation about reading books and watching films. She told me that she preferred to watch films and I told her that I preferred to read books.