The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

First Published: 2003
2015 Popsugar RC Category: A Classic Romance
My Star Rating: star_png1597star_png1597star_png1578star_png1578star_png1578

BLUF: Good concept, but the relationship is overly idealistic and keeps the reader at an arm’s distance.

In hindsight…

I chose this book to fulfill the “classic romance” portion of my 2015 reading challenge. I don’t really know what a classic romance is, but most books on the classic romance list were published in the 1900s or before – something I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish – so, alas, I chose this classic.

Let’s start with the bad: The relationship held by the main characters is insanely unrealistic. Their entire relationship is without conflict and is overly endearing. This is primarily because the book doesn’t give you the opportunity to truly know the characters. Like another reviewer explained, you read about what they do, but aren’t privy to how they feel. Also, there is too much sex considering how impersonal their relationship reads. It’s not appealing.

The idea that Henry completely (and easily) drops his current relationship for Clare is hard to believe. Actually, everything surrounding that aspect of the book was hard to believe.[Spoiler: From the ex’s friend discussing and becoming friends with Clare to the suicide as a result of Henry leaving this woman.] It should have been better explained.

Now with the good: Having read the reviews prior to the book, I entertained lowered expectations. So, feel free to take my review with a grain of salt.

I really enjoyed the concept behind this book as well as the execution. It didn’t bother me that the book jumped in time. Actually, I enjoyed this style and cannot imagine any other style to be as effective. As another reader so finely put it, this novel is science fiction marketed as fiction to attract more readers and, guess what? It works.

I know this sounds ridiculous but I enjoyed that there were characters in the story that knew Henry’s secret and that there was a medial research aspect entertained. It made the concept of time travel more real to me. (That said, I am able to suspend my disbelief easier than others.)

The end was heart wrenching. Truly. It was worthwhile and a large portion of why I voted three stars instead of two.

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