Melissa's Reviews > The Time Traveler's Wife

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Sep 09, 2008

did not like it
Recommended to Melissa by: Lora Strawn
Recommended for: no one
Read in September, 2008 , read count: 1

** spoiler alert ** I don’t actually hate this book or maybe I do; I can’t make up my mind. There were plenty of things in this book for me to hate about it, that’s for sure. I hated the consistent cussing—-every cuss word in the dictionary from mildly bad to absolutely unnecessary is repeated too often. I hated some of Clare’s choices. I hated some of Henry’s choices. I hated the miscarriage chapters—-ugh too close for comfort. “Save me” is the best way I can express my feeling about the middle of the book. I hated how the author created a wonderful idea and concept-—time traveling, seeing your spouse in the past, present, future—-but then executing that wonderful idea so poorly. Time traveling could answer one of life’s more frustrating questions: “Would I have done things differently if I had known?” Unfortunately the author didn’t dwell on the concept. The author also disappointed me with her display of Henry’s character. Henry is “good” (meaning better than he was in the middle of the book but I wouldn’t want to be married to him) at the beginning and ending of the book, but awful in the middle; because of what? What happens to Henry that changes him later in life to be a better person? The author never really expounds—-you kind of guess it’s from life’s challenges and Clare’s influence, but you don’t really know because the author doesn’t talk about Henry’s moral development and change. The only reason you even know something changes in Henry is a little from Clare’s dialog and from the fact that he’s cussing up a storm in the middle of the book but not cussing as much in the beginning and end. Boy, I thought Twilight was frustrating; The Time Traveler’s Wife drove me crazy. I wish the author would have displayed Henry’s growth differently and more firmly. Another character that drove me crazy was Gomez. First, I pictured him dark haired until like mid-way through the book where Clare describes him with blonde hair, what? I know the Gomez name was a nickname from his ridiculously long last name not because it's his ethnic first name, but still. Anyway it is totally my own fault for picturing him dark haired and darker toned, but it still bugged me to have to recreate a picture of Gomez in my mind—-some tall, fair-skinned, blonde guy. Anyway, why I brought Gomez up wasn’t about his hair color, but his moral character. He’s a jerk not a friend, but Henry and Clare seem to think he’s so great to them. Why? Even Gomez's own wife, Charisse, kind of knows he’s a creep, but doesn’t expound on this or discuss it with her best girlfriend, Clare. Oh yeah, that's right, Charisse decides it is best to discuss Gomez's lack of moral character with Henry. What? Why isn't Henry freaking out about his best friend lusting after his wife? And why does Henry think this is healthy for Charisse to have Gomez basically love someone else? This author is so frustrating. This book could have been so much better; it was often close to being great and then would fall flat instead of climaxing.

The best part of the book for me was toward the end when Clare reads Henry’s note and he tells her to not waste her life because of his death. He encourages her to live life, love the world, and LIVE; finally, someone learns from past behavior. I enjoyed seeing Henry be a wonderful man to Clare by helping her live instead of hide. He learned from his dad’s tragedy and made something that could have been tragic great. That was the best part and everything else fell short. The concept of the book is so wonderful—-time traveling; I loved the concept, wish I could say I loved the book. I will not recommend this book to anyone because of the foul language and poor choices made by main characters that seem to have no consequences for these bad choices; do the characters even feel remorse for these choices? Where’s the dialog for that?
38 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Time Traveler's Wife.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Jared I agree about Gomez.

Sabrina I don't completely disagree with this review. I mean, some things that bothered you didn't bother me, such as the cussing and the miscarriage scenes, but I work around gory stuff everyday so maybe thats why. But I had a love/hate relationship with this book too. What I really wanted to do was point out that, upon first meeting Gomez, on page 129, Niffenegger mentions that he is blond, hence:

"The person attached to the voice is tall and blond, sports the world's most immaculate pompadour and a cigarette and is wearing a Solidarnosc T-shirt. He seems familiar, but I can't place him. For a person named Gomez he looks very...Polish. I find out later that his real name is Jan Gomolinski."

I know you didn't bring up Gomez completely for this reason, but you mentioned that it bugged you so I thought that I would give Niffenegger credit where due and point out that she did, at least, do this one good thing and tell us he was blond and Polish in the very beginning.

Gwen Haaland "I hated the consistent cussing—-every cuss word in the dictionary from mildly bad to absolutely unnecessary is repeated too often"

Totally agree with you there Melissa.

Georgie I realize you posted this review ages ago, but this was bugging me and I had to say it - Henry was never "okay", per se, with Gomez loving Clare, and naturally he was never okay with Gomez loving someone else when he was still with Charisse. You ask why Henry is NOT freaking out, but how can he freak out? Henry knows that Clare is his forever, and he knows that he cannot change the fact that Gomez loves Clare. (What do you want him to do, tell Gomez to stop loving her?) Of course he's not okay with it. But he couldn't stop it.

I also agree with Sabrina's point about Gomez being described as blond and Polish from the moment he was introduced. Your problem with Gomez was not Niffenegger's issue after all; rather, it was your issue.

Danielle W I also, even knowing that he was Polish, couldn't help but picture Gomez dark haired and dark skinned.

Erica I agree with the Gomez issues, mainly why in the world would Clare sleep with her best friends then boyfriend and again almost sleep with him after Henry dies and Charisse is watching Alba. That ruined Clare for me. And it made me mad that Charisse knows he is a creep and doesn't have enough backbone to leave him... She seemed so much stronger on the beginning of the book.

back to top