The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffeneger

Category Republished

Audio book – February 2007.

One evening I was driving home from work listening to the book. The traffic was heavy. Henry was dying. In the end I had to pull off the road to listen and weep. Driving and high emotion do not go together I decided.

It is a love story based on a fantastic premise – Henry suffers from Chrono-Displacement disorder, a disorder that causes him to jump in time – one moment he is there and the next he is somewhere else. However, the clothes do not travel. The story is a love story between Clare and Henry, Clare is six and Henry is 41 when they first meet. But the book begins when Clare is 20 and Henry 28..

This is a book which examines the nature of love and touches on the question of free will and pre-destination. And what it is like to live with someone with a disability – in this case, Henry’s inability to stay in any one time zone. Did Clare ever have a choice about her relationship with Henry? She grew up knowing that one day Henry would be hers. But do any of us really have a choice?

Audrey Niffenegger is an artist – and so is Clare. She painstakingly describes Clare’s approach to creating works of art, and it was no surprise to read that Niffenegger used the same techniques to construct the book. The book opened the doors to another world, the world of the practising artist.

Did I enjoy the book? Yes. Would I recommend it to anyone else to read? Yes – but not everyone would enjoy the way the story is constructed and it is not for those who like realism. And the film? Not a patch on the book.