Lara's Reviews > The Time Traveler's Wife

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
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Jul 07, 12

Read in April, 2008

I am conflicted about this book. Do not let my 4 stars fool you, they are an emotional rating.

I'll start with the things I really liked about it:

Loved all the foreshadowing. The knowing something was going to happen, and maybe even a little bit of what it was, but never knowing or understanding fully until both characters had experienced the moment. And then all the foreshadowing of the tragic end. Once I started putting the puzzle together I really couldn't put it down. And I had several moments where I couldn't control the tears even long before the tragedy happens, because the foreshadowing was that emotionally charged.

I felt that the way the author set it up was ingenious. While you are reading along in a fairly chronological timeline, it is interspersed with moments of past and future as Henry travels through time. At first it felt very disjunct, but by the end I really loved the way it mirrored how Henry and Clare must feel as they lived their life in such a non-chronological manner. Especially Henry.

The love story was indeed epic. I bawled like a baby at the end, it was so tragic to me. And sweet at the same time. The way that the author addressed themes of love, fate, destiny, personal choice and, of course, time was mind blowing at times (as all time travel issues are to me) but very cool to see how it all intertwined. I liked how she dealt with the whole time travel issue in that Henry could never actually change anything in the future. Everything already happened, whether in the past or the future, because for Henry, his future is his past and his past is his future. I told you it was a bit mind blowing. But yeah, the love story was riveting.

Things I didn't like so much:

The absolutely uneccesary detail of the mundane. I felt the author spent too much time describing grocery lists (literally!) of things and music and whatever when she could have been examining the thoughts and feelings of the characters. It took me 3 weeks to read this book, and not because it was long. I didn't have any problem ignoring it for days at a time because of the tedious reading at times. Nothing in the writing made me want to keep reading until the last half of the book, which I did read much more quickly.

The language. F-word on nearly every page. Two sitings of the C-word. Totally unnecessary. The love scenes were often a bit graphic, and there were so many of them. Because of this, I started feeling that the love was based in sex more than anything and I would have like the author to explore some of the more deep feelings that did show up when Henry and Clare weren't in bed. Again, unnecessary really.

Sometimes I got confused and experienced deja vu. Knowing it was because one of the characters had already mentioned a certain event and I would often have to go through the book and find the previous mention so I could have full understanding.

Mostly though, it was a very cool book. And very emotional...at least for me. It really spoke to something in me about relationships and choices and destiny (not that I totally believe in destiny, but you know.)p
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Comments (showing 1-23 of 23) (23 new)

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Gina I think "emotional ratings" are the best kind. They tell me what I most want to know about a book. I loved this book.


Rebecca Would you say that this isn't a book for someone that is sensitive to both sex and language?


Lara Yes Rebecca. Don't read it if you're at all sensitive to those things. Really strong language especially, and I think I would have stopped reading if the story hadn't been so intriguing.


KIKA LOVED your review. All my thoughts exactly


Lisa Your review was right on. I almost stopped reading it because of the language, I skipped alot of pages. I had to finish because of the sweet love story, I too bawled at the end.


message 6: by Deb (new) - rated it 5 stars

Deb Roby I believe the language and sex was true to life, as were the everyday things in life. This was an adult book after all.


Tracy Thank you for putting into words my thoughts on this book. I loved the foreshadowing and the masterful way she wove the story.

For me, using the sex words took away from the "love making" and made it more about sex - not romantic.


Elisa This is a fantastic review of this book. I was enthralled with the story line and concept of time travel. However, I really felt that the grapic details of their sex life was totally unnecessary. Why? Couldn't he have just eluded to what they were going to do, and let the Adults fill in the blanks? The details were unnecessary and did NOT move the plot forward. Nor was it necessary to drop the "F" and "C" words. That added nothing to the story line at all.

Great review!


Hollie Done Great Review. I agree with everything, especially the diss-likes such as 'Grocery lists' and the swearing. I also thought there was too much describing about Clare's art work, that made me kind of wonder off in my own mind while reading.


message 10: by Clif (new) - rated it 4 stars

Clif Brittain I don't read many romance novels. I was not turned off by the sex or the language, but I wondered why sex plays such a prominent part in the book. I think it is linked to Henry's gratuitous violence as he travels (it never happens in the present when he is with Clare).


message 11: by Doug (new) - rated it 4 stars

Doug Chaffin Elisa, twas a woman writer.


Terresa I didn't mind the language or the sex, but then again I'm a librarian (that may/may not have something to do with it; let's just say Henry is my cup of tea). I'll let you decide just how sarcastic I am being here.


Rosalba I agree with your review COMPLETELY!!And think that Henry and Clare's relationship WAS kinda based more on sex han real, profound love.


Kimberley Jackman Spot on Lara!


Rochel This is totally how I felt. The love story was beautiful and yet the language was immature at times and also totally inappropriate and disgusting. It was like trying to mix trash and beauty and although it left me in tears, I can't say I would have read it knowing it contained all the lewdness that I usually stay away from.


message 16: by Hannah (new) - added it

Hannah If you had such a problem with the language and sex in this book, I would hate to see how you would rate the 50 Shades series. I thought this book was wonderful and I would highly recommend it to other readers.


message 17: by Ella (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ella Johnson I totally agree with everything you just said, especially that it was a really slow read for the first half and then I sped up for the next bit. Plus, I also felt at times like their love was based on sex and the c word seemed harsh and unnecessary, especially coming from Clare after she had the baby. But overall the story wa extremely gripping and the ending was unbelievably sad, my head still hurts from crying. The whole idea that his future was his past was also very surreal and I loved it.


message 18: by Dev (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dev I've read enough reviews and this has finally bugged me enough to comment. A book rating should never be based on the reviewer's Puritan mind set about what language is appropriate. Would the character say these words. If so, there's nothing more to be said. Truth is the final arbiter. False notes might be a jane Austen character swearing like a sailor; otherwise, keep your parochialism to yourself.


Molly Adams GIRL! I agree... I loved this book but all the COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY and arbitrary curse words REALLY got to me... Especially when (after she had given birth) she said "My breasts hurt, my C___ hurts" I was like... okay it would be one thing if you said "tits" and the c-word, but you said breasts... therefore you darn-well should have said "vagina"... it made me so uncomfortable... it was tacky and crass... Ugh, yea I agree. There are times when curse words are effective, they have a meaning... but yea, these didn't.


Nancy Loved this story as well, but like so many of you I found the sex and language to be really unnecessary. Not sure what the point was. like someone else said, I would've stopped reading it if the story hadn't been so compelling.


Molly Adams Hannah wrote: "If you had such a problem with the language and sex in this book, I would hate to see how you would rate the 50 Shades series. I thought this book was wonderful and I would highly recommend it to o..."

I don't think anyone here thinks much of 50 Shades... however, I can't speak for others, so I will say, for myself, that I wouldn't touch that "book" with a ten foot pole. Of course I wouldn't like it... it's rubbish.


message 22: by Mona (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mona this review completely captured my feelings about this book. hated hated the movie (although I love Eric Bana); there outta be a law against hijacking an author's work to Hollywoodland!


Sofia Absolutely agree!


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