Home > Literature, Reviews > Review of The Time-Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Review of The Time-Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Strange how one book can be both very dull and immensely readable. The Time-Traveler's Wife pulls this off by being on the one hand an easy-going romance and on the other non-linear science fiction. It is undeniably cleverly put together, jumping around between, and within, the two first person narratives and its premise is a brilliant hook for a story. Unfortunately, hung on that hook is an insipid love story that is cometently written, if too reliant on using lists instead of description. The two protagonists, Henry and Clare, don't seem to have and great obstacles to overcome – their relationship is never in any doubt. And their (and our) knowledge of their future (some of which happens in the past) drains the story of any forward momentum. Of course, this inevitability is undoubtedly deliberate – a comment on the inevitability of life, love and death – but I don't really think it works. If you straightened out the chronological kinks of this novel you'd end up with a fairly boring tale of boy-meets-girl, boy-and-girl-try-to-have-children, boy-and-girl-eventually-succeed-in-having-children, boy-dies-and-girl-grows-old.

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