Sunday, August 9, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife (by Audrey Niffenegger)

Reviewed by Tracy L. Karol

(4.5 stars)

I begged Amazon to make this book available on the Kindle, but it never was. I almost bought it years ago but for some reason never picked it up. When I saw the movie trailer, I knew I had to read the book before I saw the film. Easier said than done. I scoured every bookstore in both Austin and San Antonio (used and new), Wal-Mart, you name it -- Barnes and Noble told me it would take a week to get. After being spoiled by getting a book in less than a minute on my Kindle, I wasn't willing to wait to order it, but I was about to do so from Amazon. Then lo and behold my local HEB grocery store was stocked full of copies of "The Time Traveler's Wife." Grabbed one and finished it in days. (Sorry for those of you who don't live in Texas and can't get to an HEB!)

I really liked this book, although I spoiled the ending for myself by accidently opening the back and reading a "book club guide" question. Glad I can't do that on the Kindle.

Most of you probably know the plot by now. But a quick summary: Clare waits, literally, her entire life for Henry, who has a condition that causes him to unexpectedly time travel. It's often brought on by stress (it was compared to epilepsy, which I found interesting since I have epilepsy and could relate to the stressors that caused Henry to disappear).

This was a true love story. While Clare knows, from the time she is six, that she is in love with Henry, he doesn't discover the same until he is an adult. The science could be explained a bit better and I had a few other quibbles, but nothing major. The crux truly was that Clare spends her life waiting for Henry -- waiting for him to appear as a child, then waiting to meet him, then waiting for him to return to her. I won't give anything away, but there were parts that reminded me a bit of the movie "Somewhere in Time."

The story was very poignant. I laughed, cried, and was touched. I'm a bit amazed that the author hasn't written anything else in the intervening years, but I see that she has something in the works. I eagerly await the film. I pictured Eric Bana as Henry while I read the novel.

Highly recommended for romance and literature fans.