Review: The Time Traveler’s Wife

Title: The Time Traveler’s Wife

Author: Audrey Niffeneger


From Publishers Weekly:

This clever and inventive tale works on three levels: as an intriguing science fiction concept, a realistic character study and a touching love story. Henry De Tamble is a Chicago librarian with “Chrono Displacement” disorder; at random times, he suddenly disappears without warning and finds himself in the past or future, usually at a time or place of importance in his life. This leads to some wonderful paradoxes. From his point of view, he first met his wife, Clare, when he was 28 and she was 20. She ran up to him exclaiming that she’d known him all her life. He, however, had never seen her before. But when he reaches his 40s, already married to Clare, he suddenly finds himself time traveling to Clare’s childhood and meeting her as a 6-year-old. The book alternates between Henry and Clare’s points of view, and so does the narration. Reed ably expresses the longing of the one always left behind, the frustrations of their unusual lifestyle, and above all, her overriding love for Henry. Likewise, Burns evokes the fear of a man who never knows where or when he’ll turn up, and his gratitude at having Clare, whose love is his anchor. The expressive, evocative performances of both actors convey the protagonists’ intense relationship, their personal quirks and their reminiscences, making this a fascinating audio. (Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc.)

Positive Elements

The Time Traveler’s Wife is an intriguing story about a love that two people share — a love that goes through the strange and unimaginable. I loved both of the central characters in the story. The author developed them well and you had a sense of really knowing them by the end of the story. I liked the way the author followed the lives of both characters at the same time, although it was a little challenging to follow at the beginning.

Sexual Content

This story has a few scenes that are sexual in nature. There was a particular scene that occurred with Clare when she was in high school. She was “attacked” by a male classmate. This may be disturbing to some. Also, adultery occurs in this novel. The other sexual scenes that occur are not graphic in nature and have suitable place in this novel.

Violent Content

There was not any major violence in the book. There was the above mentioned attack as well as Henry beating someone up after time traveling, but it was not graphic.


There is profanity throughout this story. Some of the profanity was in the character’s general conversation in relation to sex.

Drug Content

There is little drug content in this book. The drugs that are talked about are related to Henry’s condition and they are medicinal in nature.


I thought that this story was somewhat confusing at the beginning. It was challenging to follow the time lines of both of the characters. Once you get “into” the book, it becomes easier to follow and understand. I enjoyed reading this novel and all its complexities. Be prepared to spend some time reading this book, though. It is about 500 pages.



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