I first read The Time Traveler’s Wife about six years ago, when it was first published, and ever since then I have counted it among my favorite books. I was a little nervous to reread it, because I know that at twenty years old, I was a much different person than I am now, and perhaps my enjoyment of it might have diminished with the years in between. I needn’t have worried because the novel was everything I remembered it to be, and I loved it just as much, if not more than, I did the first time I read it!
If you are unfamiliar with the plot of this novel (hard to imagine anyone would be, but just in case…), the story centers around Clare and Henry. Henry is a time traveler – although his time traveling is completely involuntary, sort of like a genetic disorder. One minute he’ll be in his normal life, the next minute he will be sucked into the events of twenty years ago, for example. And when he’s back in time, he’s completely a whole person – the people there can see him, talk to him, touch him, etc. Anyway, Clare meets Henry for the first time when she is a kid – he time travels into her backyard – and in Henry’s present, he and Clare are married. So Clare effectively knows Henry her entire life, and she knows from a young age that she is going to marry him. Henry meets Clare for the first time in his present at age twenty-six. It sounds confusing, but Niffenegger makes it flow really well, so it’s not confusing at all when you’re reading about it.
This novel really is the ultimate love story. It is a tale of epic love, of love that knows no bounds, of love that literally never dies, of two people destined to be together regardless of the hell they have to go though (individually and as a couple) to make that happen. The way their love changes and grows over time and goes from innocent first-time love to a mature and stable marriage is a joy to read about.
Having read this novel twice now, I feel that I KNOW these characters. I feel like they are a part of my life, like we were friends once or something. This will give you a good idea of how well they are written, about how realistic Henry and Clare are in this story. Because their story felt so real to me, I must admit that I bawled like a baby for the last 100 pages of the novel. I haven’t cried like that while reading a book in a long time. This book just does that to me.
Anyway, I still love this book. If you haven’t read it yet, please do. Whether you love or hate it, I want to know your feelings and why! Because seriously, folks, this is one amazing novel. Please read it for yourself to find out why.