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The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerAudrey Niffenegger received widespread acclaim for The Time Traveler’s Wife following its publication back in 2003 and it subsequently spent many months at the top of bestseller lists all over the world. Whether it is because of this success that I avoided reading it for so long I’m not sure; I suppose I may be guilty of dismissing it as just another mass market romance. I’m so glad that I finally got around to finding out what all the fuss was about, because when I did read it I was hooked immediately and enjoyed it from start to finish.

Read on for a full review….

-- The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger a Review by Des Greene --
It is rather difficult to write a review that does this novel justice. If I say it is a romantic love story, given a twist of sci-fi courtesy of its time traveling theme, then you might be forgiven for thinking it is going to be pretty dreadful, or at best just another shelf filler. However, if you do dismiss it in this way (which is pretty much the same mistake I myself made originally), then you will be missing out on a beautifully crafted and rather extraordinary tale.

The love story of Clare and Henry forms the backbone of the plot; and with the addition of the attentions of some of Henry’s previous conquests, and a dose of unrequited love thrown in for good measure, the book could have stood unaided as a straightforward romance. However, by stirring in the fantasy ingredient of time travel, Audrey Niffenegger has cleverly opened up a whole new vista of possibilities.

If the book had simply tried to succeed on the basis of the time traveling idea alone, then I think most people would quickly have lost interest; but because the characters are well written, believable and emotionally involving, the reader is kept totally engrossed from start to finish. There are numerous surprise elements, which are never easily predictable, and the encounters between Henry and Clare at varying age differences often add a frisson of risk; although the boundaries of morality thankfully remain intact.

I was truly surprised at just how good The Time Traveler’s Wife was. Romances are not usually high on my reading list, which presumably only heightens Ms. Niffenegger’s achievement in winning me over with this book. I would certainly recommend it to anyone who has not had a chance to read it previously, and I am also looking forward to getting hold of a copy of Niffenegger’s second novel Her Fearful Symmetry.

Already read The Time Traveler’s Wife? What did you think of it? Please post a comment below, Novel Suggestions is always keen to hear your opinions.

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