SUMMARY (from Goodreads): When Henry meets Clare, he is twenty-eight and she is twenty. Henry has never met Clare before; Clare has known Henry since she was six. Impossible but true, because Henry finds himself periodically displaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future.
I have seen the film before I read The Time Traveler’s Wife. I had been postponing reading the book for a long time, because I had thought it would be boring since I had already known what happened. Naturally, reading the book was worthwhile and not at all boring.
Although the book is sometimes sadder and gorier than the film, it is more enjoyable because it offers you time to process things. And processing is indeed needed. The concept of time travelling is very confusing, nonetheless Niffenegger deals with it in such a manner it makes sense. The reading can be difficult on some spots and you might stop a couple of times to think things through, but in the end everything works out.
I also liked how Henry and Clare alternate to tell their story. It is often argued that re-telling the same event from the point of view of several characters is redundant. I usually agree with this. However, in this case, it is sometimes necessary and I believe Niffenegger uses just the right amount of this technique in all the right places.
The best thing about The Time Traveler’s Wife is that, in spite of such unreal problem as time travelling, Niffenegger makes the plot as well as the characters realistic. Henry and Clare have to face the same issues as any “normal” couple. They disagree, they fight, they suffer, and then they make up, laugh, dance, and are happy. They work hard for their love and this makes it extraordinary.
RECOMMENDATION: The Time Traveler’s Wife is a wonderful story about true love which overcomes all obstacles. It requires some effort to understand the course of events, but it is what makes this book special.