The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (MacAdam/Cage, 2003)
Introduced by Eleanor Wait
It’s difficult for me to review The Time Traveller’s Wife eloquently, partly because I don’t think my review could ever do the book justice. I find it hard to put my thoughts and opinions into words because even now, a week after finishing the book I feel overwhelmed. It is rare that a book consumes me and yet I was completely absorbed in every chapter. Each description or line of dialogue was thoughtfully placed and carefully chosen as if the author was actually tying to rip my flooded heart out of my chest. If this was Niffenegger’s aim, then she was successful.
On completion, I sat on the edge of my bed for longer than I would like to admit and wallowed in the aftermath of Henry and Claire’s bittersweet love story. I felt as though I had been forced into becoming a hopeless romantic. Romance isn’t generally my preferred genre as I often find it tedious and predictable but the unforeseen twists coupled with the lover’s resilience, patience and strength led to me becoming invested in their marriage and vulnerable to every ounce of tension, impatience and fear the characters experienced.
At one point, I caught myself reflecting inward and searching desperately for parallels in my life. I was hunting for signs of my own ‘Henry’ (perhaps because I wanted to relate to the extreme circumstances or perhaps because it was about 4:30 am and I was feeling lonely and emotional) but needless to say, I was unsuccessfully. Henry isn’t real: I have to keep reminding myself of that. I think that I completely and utterly fell head over heels in love with the idea of falling in love.
That’s enough of the soppy stuff for now though. I think I will return to my thrillers and ‘whodunits’ for a while but I will certainly open up a romance again, I just have to try and find a way of forcing my heart back in my chest first! I would honestly recommend The Time Traveller’s Wife to anyone, even if they are a romance-phobe like me.