A Book Review: The Time Traveler’s Wife

The following is a book review by The Ameri Brit Mom. This post expresses the genuine opinion and experiences of The Ameri Brit Mom and is in no way endorsed by authors, publishers, and outside influences.


Title: The Time Traveler’s Wife

Author: Audrey Niffenegger

Publisher: A Harvest Book (Harcourt Inc)

Copyright Date: 2003

I know many of you may have seen the movie, The Time Traveler’s Wife, starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams. I somehow escaped seeing this movie and reading this book until now. I found a copy of this novel at a book expo and paid two dollars for the experience and joy of reading it. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and its unique plot and emotional pull.

Henry DeTamble has an uncontrollable condition that causes him to slip through the cracks of time. One moment Henry may be living his life in the present with his lovely wife, Clare Abshire, and the next he may be visiting a younger version of the girl he loves in a meadow behind her childhood home. Clare first met Henry when she was six and he was thirty-six. He told her of their life together in the future and she began to fall in love with her soul mate. Clare spent a majority of her life waiting on Henry to visit once again. She lived for the moments she had with him where he would tell her about their marriage. As a teenager she rarely dated, because she knew that one day she would meet Henry in his present form and the two would get married.

As adventurous as time travel may seem it didn’t come without some costs. Henry always appeared somewhere and somewhen else with nothing from the present. He would show up in the past or future without clothing or belongings. From an early age he mastered the art of pick pocketing so that he could survive in his journeys beyond the present. Also, as much as he tried he was unable to change events from the past. Certain things would aid Henry in traveling like fear, alcohol, and drugs while other things would help keep him grounded in real time like exercise and relaxation. At times it was a lot of fun for Henry to launch into another era, but there were also times of great pain that he experienced over and over again.

Clare entered their union very aware of Henry’s condition and was as patient as any wife could be with the mysterious comings and goings of her time traveling husband. She spent much of their married life waiting for Henry to return from visits to the past. Visits that she could recall from her own childhood. She would anxiously wait with food and clothes for her lover to return.

I found this book to be extremely emotional. I laughed at the funny scenes, cried during some of the painful and sad events, and cringed when some less than desirable characters took advantage of Clare and Henry. This story was one of unconditional love, heartache, and triumph. It takes a lot to draw me into a love story, but this unique tale of love beyond the limits of time had me engaged from page one. I will admit that when reading this book it is imperative to follow the timelines at the beginning of each chapter. It even becomes necessary at times to flip back and reread details from past events. But, if you are as addicted to this story as I was this makes the book even more engaging and profound.

So what’s next for me? Well, the movie of course. I’m looking to track down a copy of this movie and see if it measures up to this well-written and original novel.

Check back next week for a review of the new Harper Lee novel, Go Set a Watchman.

3 thoughts on “A Book Review: The Time Traveler’s Wife

  1. I loved the book until the end. And then I hated it. Hated it with a grand passion. I felt the author took the easy way out. Pity for me, I guess. 🙂


  2. Interesting book, but lovely review! Unconventional love stories typically promise an intriguing read, and this one sounds like a strong example. Off to go research the movie! 🙂 {And I’m excited to see what you think about Go Set a Watchman – Harper Lee is one of my favorites}.


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