Time travel has long been mooted as a possibility and quantum physics suggests that the present and our concept of time is a convenient construct that mankind uses. Audrey Niffenegger seamlessly blends a meaningful, poignant, love story with a time travelling central character to create a novel that feels completely rooted in real life.
Based on the premise that Henry, the protagonist, has a faulty gene that causes him to travel backwards and forwards in time with no conscious control over where he goes. The Time Traveller’s Wife explores what this means to his relationship with his love Clare. Clare has been seeing adult Henry appear naked in front of her all through her childhood (clothes don’t make the journey, causing real difficulties and embarrassment for Henry). For years she has known they are living together as man & wife in her future. When she meets a younger Henry at last in her present he doesn’t know her yet. Very clever stuff!
The relationship between adult Clare & Henry is sensually written and beautiful; it has a real sense of soulmate closeness. It is also funny & heartrending by turn. This couple feel so very real as they face their unique marital challenges. For Henry travelling to wherever, whenever and arriving there without any clothes isn’t safe, and popping out of existence in the present isn’t always convenient!
This is a book that makes you sit back & think ‘What if?’ If someone could time travel as Henry does what would it mean for them and those who love them? I loved reading this novel & would suggest you have a good quantity of tissues handy for the end.
I clearly wasn't the only person to be moved by this book and a movie is now available too. Although for me the book is the more engrossing of the two.