A most untraditional love story, this is the celebrated tale of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who involuntarily travels through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare's passionate affair endures across a sea of time and captures them in an impossibly romantic trap that tests the strength of fate and basks in the bonds of love.
I saw the movie a few weeks ago, which made me cry, so I figured I'd give the book a shot, since I loved the movie so much. I'm a firm believer in that the book version is always better than the movie version, and The Time Traveler's Wife proved it yet again. Given the subject matter, this book is much more of a romance than it would seem. Henry DeTamble, the chrono-impaired time traveler, age 28, meets Clare, age 20, for the first time, while Clare meets Henry when she was 6 and he was in his thirties. The story line is more than a bit confusing and I found myself flipping back to see exactly what was happening at that time and place. So while the novel was complicated and confusing, the romance between Clare and Henry was beautifully written. Even the reactions of both characters as they faced hard situation after hard situation, Niffenegger made everything realistic and put heart into it too. This story was definitely a tearjerker, but the highlights (both of their first meetings, both of their first kisses, their wedding) made up for the heart-wrenching plot. That being said, this novel was heavy, emotionally (and physically. 536 pages, yeesh) and the mature content sometimes became overwhelming. I wouldn't suggest this book to many of my friends, considering the weight of the subject.
4.5 stars, and since this is an adult novel, recommended to high school age and up, and to everyone who loved Titanic and the like.