Greg's Reviews > The Time Traveler's Wife

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
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Oct 20, 09


** spoiler alert ** The premise is brilliant, the beginning strong and well-executed. I found myself instantly taken in by the story and all the characters. Once the main characters caught up in the present, things seemed to slow down, and the story became more "normal". Somehow, though I know there were continual references to Henry's time-traveling, I would have liked it to keep more focus in the middle of the book - rather than taking a backseat to the relationship drama, in the same way that an irregular job might interfere with things.

But still I kept on, because I liked the characters well enough, and their adventures together were fun to read. My problem with the book, which others may not share, was in the last 150 pages or so. Henry started a downward slide towards the end, where he just completely fall apart. It wasn't fun to read any more - just the systematic unraveling and eventual death of a character, for no apparent reason. It wrecked the tone of the novel.

What was the message, then? I didn't learn anything from the ending, except that the end of life sucks and you always lose the ones you love. That's a different message from the rest of the novel, which teaches readers to cherish the time they are given and to love always. I didn't feel any of that at the end - just a series of blows to the characters and then they're gone.

I'm not asking for a gushy love story or an "everything's OK" ending or whatever. I'm just not seeing how showing the characters get into arguments and lose bodily functions is demonstrating their continued love despite the challenges of metaphorical old age.
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