REVIEW: The Time Traveller’s Wife

I haven’t seen Henry in almost two months; the next date on the List is three weeks away. We are approaching the time when I won’t see him for more than two years. I used to be so casual about Henry, when I was little; seeing Henry wasn’t anything too unusual. But now every time he’s here is one less time he’s going to be here.

I’m lying in bed, trying desperately to dry my pillowcase with my radiator before I get up. The reason why it’s soaking? I’ve just bawled my way through the ending of The Time Traveller’s Wife. Not only bawled, but curled into the foetal position, wondering why the hell Niffenegger decided to turn me into an emotional wreck. (Actually, I was fairly close to that status anyway; she just gave me that nudge over the edge.)

This novel isn’t about time travel in the Doctor Who sense; it has more of a personal spin on things. I found even the concept very confusing in the beginning – sod being a time traveller, I was struggling too much with even reading about it – but I eventually caught on and (semi) understood. The Time Traveller’s Wife documents the unique love story of Clare and Henry, who first meet when Clare is six and Henry thirty-six. They then marry when Clare is twenty-two and Henry is thirty. Their tumultuous romance is honestly adorable – but this novel is so much more than your average hero-heroine-problem-problem is resolved-they get married and have adorable children.

The romance genre is my guilty pleasure (probably because of the lack of a significant other in my own life) BUT JEEZ. (y’all know that I’m going to get worked up when I capitalise everything) DOES NIFFENEGGER THINK IT’S OKAY TO SCREW WITH MY HEART? The ending to this can’t be shepherded into a ‘happy’ or ‘sad’ category; it’s a tragic combination of the two. There’s love and loss and hope and desperation and confusion and utter tragedy and – . THERE IS EVERYTHING. Even if you’re not a hopeless romantic such as myself, you’ll love it because of Clare and Henry’s determination to keep going against all the odds.

I was so close to giving up on this novel. All the time-and-reality-jumping was too much for my fatigued brain, but judging by the rave reviews on the cover, and its (rightful) position at the top of bestseller lists, I figured that there must be something good. And I was right. It taught me so much about the nature and immortality of love and commitment, and the fact that there is always hope. Despite the ending that (nearly) broke my heart, it’s not all doom and gloom – a bit like real life, really. Deep.

All in all, this is a pretty good book. The waltzing around from viewpoint to viewpoint can be rather confusing, but I was soon swept up by the adorable-ness of Clare and Henry’s relationship, and I’m pretty sure that you will be too. Unless you’re one of those people who read random pages, and then happen to read the page that spills all AND CAUSED MY EYES TO WATER FOR A GOOD TEN MINUTES. If so, shame on you for being too impatient.

AYY – five out of five stars, for an absolutely stellar read.

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