Synopses & Reviews
Audrey Niffenegger's innovative debut, The Time Traveler's Wife
, is the story of Clare, a beautiful art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity in his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing.
The Time Traveler's Wife depicts the effects of time travel on Henry and Clare's marriage and their passionate love for each other as the story unfolds from both points of view. Clare and Henry attempt to live normal lives, pursuing familiar goals steady jobs, good friends, children of their own. All of this is threatened by something they can neither prevent nor control, making their story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.
"[A] highly original first novel....[A] soaring love story illuminated by dozens of finely observed details and scenes....[L]eaves a reader with an impression of life's riches and strangeness rather than of easy thrills." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
"[C]leverly executed and tastefully furnished if occasionally overwrought....A Love Story for educated, upper-middle-class tastes...it could have some of that long-ago book's commercial potential, too." Kirkus Reviews
The Time Traveler's Wife
is the love story of Henry and Clare DeTamble, a young married couple living in Chicago. Their lives together are complicated by a mystifying and exasperating genetic condition that causes Henry to involuntarily time travel. While Clare is left wondering if the man she always knew she would marry is safe from harm, Henry is taken on journies that are unpredictable, and alternately harrowing and amusing. While Henry strains to live as normal a life as he can, pursuing goals that will be familiar to most a steady job, love, good friends, children of his own Clare has always known that their love was pre-destined, having already met Henry as a young girl when he would time travel from their present to her past before they met.
Their bizarre life and the challenges they face are the same burdens that ultimately we all must deal with the inability to have control over their lives. However, what Henry's affliction does provide them is a glimpse to their final hours and to the novel's breathtaking ending. The Time Traveler's Wife is a story about adoration, separation, and ultimately about how time defines so much in our lives.
About the Author
Audrey Niffenegger is a visual artist and a professor in the Interdisciplinary Book Arts MFA Program at the Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts, where she teaches writing, letterpress printing, and fine edition book production. She shows her artwork at Printworks Gallery in Chicago. The Time Traveler's Wife is her first novel.