The Time Traveler’s Wife


If you could defy time and visit snippets of your past and future as your current self, would you? It’s not exactly a choice for Henry DeTamble, the protagonist of The Time Traveler’s Wife.

Henry’s genetic condition makes him vanish involuntarily from the present, and lands him into his past or future, unaware, in only his birthday suit. His time-travel episodes are filled with adventure, lies and heartache, because even though he can defy time, he can’t change it.

Henry DeTamble: “How does it feel?

I feels exactly like one of those dreams in which you suddenly realize that you have to take a test you haven’t studied for and you aren’t wearing any clothes. And you’ve left your wallet at home.

When I am out there, in time, I am inverted, changed into a desperate version of myself. I become a thief, a vagrant, an animal who runs and hides. I startle old women and amaze children. I am a trick, an illusion of the highest order, so incredible that I am actually true.”

Though a far-fetched fantasy, Audrey Niffeneger, the author, has painted extremely realistic, believable characters, and the book makes a light, pacy read. Through the pages, the characters become so interwoven with the reader, so life-like, that it’s hard to disentangle and let the story take its disturbing course.

More than science fiction, the book is really the story of two soulmates, Henry and Clare, who find and lose each other ever so often, in keeping with Henry’s time travel. At 36, Henry first meets Clare in the past, when she is only 6, and paints her entire life. Then begins a love story which could easily be equated with the eternal characters of Erich Segal’s Love Story and Tarun Tejpal’s The Alchemy of Desire.

“Time passes and the pain begins to roll in and out as though it’s a woman standing at an ironing board, passing the iron back and forth, back and forth across a white tablecloth.”

A delectable book throught each of its 518 pages, for the hopeless  romantics, for the believers in soul mates, and mostly, for everyone willing to flex their imagination just a little wild.

The Shooting Star Academy

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  1. Mostly, for everyone willing to flex their imagination just a little wild. I fall in the third category.

    Looks like a lovely book! Cool review 🙂

  2. Something I desperately need to read right now!!

  3. docmitasha says:

    you read it! yay! i’m glad you liked it so much, I had a feeling you would. I feel like one of its biggest charms is how beautifully its written. The story is tricky…any moment it can cross over from bizarre into silliness…but DeTamble has a way of keeping the bizarre and mixing it with poignancy and emotion and such strong feelings that you just get lost in it. She can really play with language and get the most out of it. It is a beautiful book and I can still re-read it and feel the same emotions rise in me as I did the first time I read it.

  4. docmitasha says:

    Sorry, I meant Niffeneger! Names getting jumbled in my head 🙂

  5. @ Varun: Thanks 🙂 You should definitely read it!

    @ Jayesh: It is!

    @ Amit: I hope you’re on it already 🙂

    @ docmitasha: Haha yeah! Thanks for the recommendation 😀 I’ve been through the name-jumbling syndrome myself, though DeTamble is a character that will live in my head for a while. Looking forward to the movie!

  6. nephritina says:

    i think this book is a good read just downloaded the audio on my computer and the movie looks awesome but you know how it is when it come time to convert books to movie to many things get left out and change so i would read before i watch the movie!!

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