Review on: Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Time Traveler’s Wife is one of the most fascinating, dramatic, confusing, heart-wrenching, not-so-fairy-tale dream stories I’ve ever read. The book is filled with so much emotion, so much feelings, conflicting yet in-sync, happy yet dreadful, a book full of so many ironies that in some way just make sense.
Meet Henry, a time-traveler that is able to distort his time because of a rare genetic disease. Because of this disease, Henry has no control over when or where he time-travels. Because of this, and another problem – whenever he time travels he cannot bring anything with him so always appears naked wherever he arrives, Henry has learned to fend for himself and do whatever it takes for him to survive until he returns to his own time. One day, he meets Clare, who has known him for her entire life. His future self has constantly time traveled to her past, and here, they meet and eventually fall in love, both in the present and in the past.
The couple encounter so many problems from Henry’s constant disappearance, to eventually, their being unable to have children because of his genetic disorder which he has passed down to his not-yet-born embryo children. Add to that a world that cannot be altered, where the present and the past and the future are all but one existing reality, and where changing fate just doesn’t happen.
From the moment I read the summary to this book a few years ago, I automatically fell in love. I can’t imagine why I’ve always prioritized buying my romance novels over this book, until I read it. Now, I understand why maybe fate didn’t let me read this book until recently. Actually, I saw the movie to this a few months back, before I even started reading the novel. I have to say, this book is A LOT better than the movie. There are so many things that make more sense when you’re reading the book.
The book says so much. The characters are so real, they are characters that readers can definitely relate to. The characters in the story evoke so much emotion. Unlike other books where other characters in the story don’t really make a big impact, in Time Traveler’s Wife, all characters are part of the big picture. All characters, though at first you don’t see how they can be of any importance to the story, just make sense. The way Niffenegger writes it too, it seems so messy, it’s like reading a book that jumps from the start, to the end, to the middle of the story. But that style of writing, just adds to the intrigue and the delight that comes with reading the book, you never know what’s in store. Some books just come off as having obvious plots, obvious flow of the story, yadda yadda, but in Time Traveler’s Wife, you are never sure what surprise you’ll encounter next, or what fact you’ll encounter, or what memory you’ll uncover.
One great thing I loved about the story is that Niffenegger doesn’t write the book as if she’s toning it down for her readers. She makes it honest, blunt yes, but not at all deceiving. What you see in the book is pure honesty. Pure love, pure confusion, pure drama, pure hate, pure everything. That’s probably why this book is not suited to people who are of a young age, because to them, the story just won’t make sense. They won’t understand the emotions that come out of the story, and that come out of the character’s relationships with each other.
The book is so detailed, it gives so many explanations that are left unanswered in the movie. Though the deeper details the characters may seem confusing at first, continuing to read the book will open readers up to a whole new world. Henry and Claire’s relationship is not just a meeting of fate that ends in a happily ever after. Their struggles as a couple, and their personal individual conflicts not just with each other but with other characters, give more heart to the book. The book just explains it so well that readers will be surprised at how Niffenegger can write a book that’s like a scattered puzzle piece that just fits together so well in the end.
Another great thing about this book is how the small things that you don’t notice in previous chapters make sense in future chapters. Many times while reading the book, I was tempted to make sure that what’s happening in the present chapter corroborates what’s being said in a previous chapter. It’s thrilling to turn back to old chapters and realize why things happened there, and what importance it gives to the flow of the story.
Everything in the story is just beautifully written. From the small things to the big things. From details of clothes and emotions, to scenes where the stories take place. Reading it all, you can just imagine how the story is happening, how the story is unfolding before your very eyes. It’s like uncovering the world that we exist in now, but in a whole new light. The story is not just a fictional book that would be enjoyable for readers, but many parts in the story have so much more depth than they’re given credit for. There are so many philosophical issues, philosophical truths that are encountered in the story. There are so many things to discover in this book. I was able to understand some of what was explained because I had taken 4 semesters of Philosophy in my university. It’s something that people take for granted, but something that people will surely be able to use when making insights about a lot of life issues.
It’s the kind of book that you’d love reading again, like a whole new adventure every time you open the pages, or like a re-discovery of characters you didn’t fully understand before.