The Time-Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

The book is the story about Henry, a time-traveller, and Claire, his wife. Henry travels in time, totally unplanned and unintentionally. He can’t say when he will travel and where he will end up – and he can’t take anything with him, so he always turns up naked wherever he goes. They meet for Claire’s first time when she is around 6 and he is 36. They meet for Henry’s first time when Claire is 20 and he is 28. When Henry meets Claire when she is 6 he already knows that she will be his wife, since he’s already been married to her for a number of years. When Claire meets him when she is 20 and he is 28, she already has known him since she was 6 while he has never seen her before. With me still?

The book is written in form of vignettes that are set in all sorts of various times and from two points of view. So the reader has to constantly figure out what has already happened, and to whom. The ages of Claire and Henry in relation to each other constantly change, since Henry is sometimes coming from the past and sometimes from the future.

When I started to read the book I thought I had found the book that from now on I’m going to give as a gift to everybody I know, but I changed my mind later on. I loved the beginning, how Henry and Claire met in Henry’s present and how their relationship – that existed for Claire already for a long time – developed. However, I wanted the story to get a "Happily Ever After" and needless to say it didn’t have one. It was obvious from fairly early on that the ending would be sad and for me that just doesn’t do it.

The idea of the story is very original and if the story line had gone into another direction this would have been my favourite book ever – even though I must admit that I can’t imagine what positive direction the storyline could have taken.

Another point I found a bit disappointing was that the two points of view could only be distinguished by the fact that the author always started the vignettes with the name of the person and a colon. Without that you couldn’t have said who is speaking/thinking at the moment. Henry and Claire sound exactly the same – not very likely in my opinion.

I’d recommend the book because the time travel concept is an interesting and intriguing idea.

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