The Time Traveler's Wife The Time Traveler's Wife discussion


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So was this one of your all time favourites books or what?

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message 1: by Claire (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:55AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Claire Loved loved loved it! Everyone I have ever recommended it to loved it. How about you?


message 2: by carynn (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:55AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

carynn hey! yes, was fabulous, i was dreamy for weeks afterwards. definitely all time favourite.


message 3: by Aly (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:55AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Aly I enjoyed it, but I found it a little fluffy. More to the point, did you find anything sinister in the way he (I'm sorry, I've forgotten the character's name) molded and wooed Claire as a child, shaping her into his wife?


message 4: by shruti (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:55AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

shruti It's hard to believe that this is Niffeneger's first novel, and that she did not necessarily aim to be a writer at all (paper artist who wrote a novel). The writing is fantastic, I love how some of the scenes are very real and raw and gritty and how she takes this somewhat unbelievable plot and makes it easy to understand and believe.

Definitely on my all-time faves list!


message 5: by Julia (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:55AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Julia I really liked and enjoyed it, but it's not one of my all-time favorites. Nothing against the book; it just didn't click for me in the way it seemed to for others.


message 6: by Aly (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:55AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Aly Julia-- what would you have liked the book to do which it didn't do?


message 7: by Aly (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:55AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Aly Julia-- what would you have liked the book to do which it didn't do?


message 8: by M (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:55AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

M Gosh, am I the only one who really didn't like the book? Fluffy - check. Sinister in dealing with young Claire - check. Very hard to follow in the beginning and a premise that was too unbelievable for me to get into - check. Maybe I'm too much of a cynic/realist but this book was so hard for me to read and did not leave me with any positive impression, and then it turns out the whole world disagrees. Where did I go wrong?


message 9: by Kate (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:55AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kate I absolutely loved this book. Sure the premise is a little unbelievable but that's one of the things that makes it interesting. I didn't think that Henry's interactions with Claire as a child were sinister in nature, the point was that he already knew what was going to happen - I didn't get the impression that Niffenegger was trying to imply that Henry had any control over future when traveling in the past - it's not like Back to the Future where future history is changed by time travel.


message 10: by Annelise (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:55AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Annelise I agree that this book is one of my favorites. Every single person I have recommended it to or given it to has loved it. It's something about the magic of the love story, the future, and the overall mystery that makes it completely captivating. I always tell people if they can make it through the confusion in the beginning that they will love it and they always do.


message 11: by Samara (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:55AM) (new)

Samara Until I read your review, I didn't think that his visiting Claire in her early years was sinister. I do see your point. However, I believe it to be more that he loved her so much and wanted to be with her, even in her youth. It was a way for Henry to learn more about his wife. There is a certain parallel to him knowing all about her in her childhood, and then Claire meeting up with Henry later - giving her the advantage of knowing more at that point.


message 12: by Jean (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:55AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jean i could go either way on the claire-manipulation -- a little creepy, but i can still buy it as a love story. i admire this book for how smoothly it pulls you along, but i HATED the heavy-handed foreshadowing (paraphrase: golly, if anything ever happens to my feet, just SHOOT ME. duh-DUMMMMMM.).

it also bothered me that the characters always seemed to answer questions so truthfully (as when claire meets the famously prickly and reclusive father, asks right off the bat what it was like when his wife died, an event which has clearly destroyed his life, AND HE TELLS HER) -- this is not what dramatic writing is made of, folks. even in real life, people rarely tell the truth about emotions in a straight-forward way. part of what is intriguing about watching characters interact is seeing the way the truth is put into the subtext of conversation and action.


message 13: by Lee (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:56AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lee i thought this was possibly the best book i've ever read. maybe that's because of the timing in my life when i read it, but i think regardless of where you are in life, it's an incredibly beautiful book.

one thing i totally loved was how the book communicates the idea of nostalgia -- the time travel mechanism is the most ingenious way to make the reader feel that sense of longing. it perfectly captures the essence of nostalgia, revisiting your past.

i also fell for how real love is in the story -- it's not simple or easy, it's longing and joyful and difficult and makes you cry, but you don't know why. and love isn't just something you feel for others -- nostalgia is about loving yourself too. i love the part where he watches himself as a kid -- it makes you feel that you would need to protect yourself and teach yourself things if you could go back and visit your younger self.

sure it seems a little strange Henry visiting Claire as a child, but who doesn't love to see home movies of their spouse or hear stories of them as a child? when you're in love with someone, your nostalgia extends beyond yourself, and you want to share in the remembrance of your loved one's past. you'd also want to protect and prepare them for their future.

i think some people are turned off by the format and the premise of the book, but if you can treat it as a magical drama and not as sci-fi or "real life" drama, and not worry about keeping track of what time the characters are in and just go along for the ride, it works beautifully.


message 14: by Rachel (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:57AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rachel Definitely one of the most emotionally moving books I have ever read. I absolutely LOVED it!


message 15: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:57AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Meghan This book was so, ridiculously real. Although set in a tone for a dreamer, you can't help but hope it can really happen, every last bit of it. I absolutely adore this book. One cannot judge this book by the foreshadowing the book uses, because the book is based off of the idea of fate. If you at all believe in fate in any way shape or form, you cannot say that the foreshadowing is negative. Forshadowing occurs in life, everywhere, we just don't search for it, mostly because its right in front of us, and we just don't know it. The book portrays fate, in every manner. It is what makes the story beautiful.


message 16: by yijie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:57AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

yijie to those who didn't like the book. i think there's no need to wonder if anything went wrong on your part.
books have always been subjective. it looks like the majority like it because the others who didn't didn't post?
though i admit i am one of those who love the book. :)


message 17: by Alicia (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:57AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Alicia I liked it, but I didn't think it was all that wonderful. It was well-written enough, but it wasn't a story that swept me away. I had hoped to like it a lot more. Not sure why, but it just didn't take me wherever I had expected to go.


message 18: by Maria (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:58AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Maria Calhoun I never thought of him as molding her into his wife because he always made it a point not to disturb the past. You have a very interesting take on that book.


message 19: by Laurie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:58AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Laurie Bridges It's one of my all time favorite books, and I know many women who loved it. However, one person I know didn't like it at all! She found it creepy and would agree with your assessment of childrearing a wife.


message 20: by diana (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:58AM) (new)

diana i was on vacation in london when i bought this and found it incredibly hard to put it down and see the sights! beautiful, sweeping book.


message 21: by Antonio (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:58AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Antonio as far as the childrearing goes i really feel that he doesn't go out of his way to either persuade or dissuade Claire, it's like Kate said earlier, he knew that she would end up being his wife. until i read this message board i'd never heard of anyone not being completely blown away by the book and so that's quite surprising. it definitely rates as one of my favorite books.


message 22: by Danita (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:58AM) (new)

Danita I loved it loved it. I couldnt put it down. It did make me terribly sad and i do NOT want this to become a movie.


message 23: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 10:59AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sarah I found it really hard to understand, BUT--in the end i really think the book was about a different kind of love that can't exist in normal time. If you think about it, by the time he went back to "mold" Claire, Henry had already fallen in love with her (and she had already fallen in love with him). I thought it was amazing that time allowed them to know each other so well--it made their love even greater!!


message 24: by marilyn (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:02AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

marilyn spoilers! though you wouldn't be reading all this if you were very wary of them, right?:

you can't help but hope it can really happen, every last bit of it.

First, I very much disagree with that-- no matter how powerful and moving their love was, can you really think the story as a whole was anything but horrifyingly sad? I would never ever wish Clare's fate, nor Henry's, on someone. I do think you see, pretty starkly, how Clare has been stunted by her lifetime of waiting when you get to those final pages. Did anyone see that coming? Did anyone else feel that she basically wastes the last 30-40 years of her life in a pathetic hope for what might only be a few hours, or even a few minutes of old happiness?

And while I do think there are some good points above in the issues with the writing, I think a lot of the darkness is intentionally under the surface, intentionally to get under your skin. And the forthrightness of the characters is something of a tone she strikes as well. The whole thing seems as a dream, why not have people talk as they do in dreams, tell you what you want to know, skip around, get to the parts that you care about?

Obviously I loved it despite all the heartache and the simplifications. I don't necessarily think it's a classic for the ages (but it could be-- it's got a lot of the signatures of our times), but I do think it's beautiful.


message 25: by Claytron (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:02AM) (new)

Claytron I found some of the sections brilliant (the Violent Femmes concert comes to mind), but it ultimately left me feeling a bit hollow and Henry's ability to control the past when he could kinda cheap.


message 26: by Sam (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:03AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam I enjoyed this love story, especially the wedding, my one disagreement with it was the end. The most beautiful, and probably the most moving scene of the entire book (and there are tons of moving scenes, I cried a lot while reading this book, and as a straight guy thats sometimes hard to admit) was left out. I felt as if I was betrayed, I needed to hear their conversation or at least a part of it, thats what as the read we had come to suspect.
I will say the back and forth between characters was amazing though. Overall a good book, but the very end left a sour taste in my mouth.


message 27: by Tracy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:03AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Tracy Count me in among the people who found the interactions to be creepy, to the point where I felt sick to my stomach reading it. The writing was often beautiful, but the book itself felt very shallow and the characters stunted and unpleasant, relying more on the gimmicky nature of their relationship than any actual belief that they loved - or even really *knew* - each other.


message 28: by JDK1962 (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:06AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

JDK1962 Count me as another straight guy who loved the book, and occasionally got a bit teary reading it.

Maybe it was where my mind was when I read it (a bit after my father died), but the scenes I found most moving were the ones where Henry encountered his daughter after he had died (the museum scene, the scene where his daughter jumps back and is playing with her younger self in the backyard).

Or maybe I'm just a sucker for time travel novels.


message 29: by Janaree (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:06AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Janaree Nore I liked the party with the punk rocker wanna-be teens that he analyzed like an old hippie would remark about the summer of love.
Claire as a child growing up with the secret meetings to look forward to was the luckiest teen ever.
I thought it was right up there with the time travel fantasy Time and Again by Jack Finney.


message 30: by Karen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:06AM) (new)

Karen Germain I loved this book too. I think that it is the best book that I have ever read and it touched me in a way that other books simply have not. Only a few books have made me cry and this one had me sobbing. It affected me emotionally in a profound way. I have enjoyed books, but I have never really had that happen. It caught me off guard. I don't know if it was because I read it at a particular time in my life. I think that I will need to reread it down the road and see if I love it as much.

I really hope that the movie doesn't butcher it!!!


message 31: by Becca (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:07AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Becca To those who didn't like it or felt creeped out by the Henry-Little Claire interaction, I think you missed the parts where Henry creeped himself out. He's not Humbert Humbert here! He's self-conscious, caring and goes out of his way in many cases to try not to scar her. True we can get a sense of too much time spent waiting by Clare, but put yourself in her shoes. This is your soulmate - the man who has been your past, present and you know will be your future. You love him with ever fiber of your being. And he's dead, but you know you're going to see him again - and not in some intangible After-life way - you're going to see him one day for a last time in your kitchen while you're having tea!!!

I loved this book and I, in general, don't go in for romances. I cried my eyes out at the end. It really made me feel so lucky to have my husband and made me feel like all love is so fleeting that it needs to be cherished in ever present moment.


message 32: by Mijin (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:07AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mijin i liked the book but i had a hard time understanding how he could be in two places at once. can someone explain that to me?


message 33: by Rob (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:08AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Rob If Henry was 25 years old on January 1st, 2007, 1:00 p..m. he could time travel to the point where he was 26 years old on Janurary 1st,2008 and be with his 26 year old self and then travel back to January 1st, 2007 at 1:01 p.m. Time was not linear for him.


message 34: by Rob (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:08AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Rob If Henry was 25 years old on January 1st, 2007, 1:00 p..m. he could time travel to the point where he was 26 years old on Janurary 1st,2008 and be with his 26 year old self and then travel back to January 1st, 2007 at 1:01 p.m. Time was not linear for him.


message 35: by Katie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:09AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Katie I really disliked Henry and found this story sappy and pointless. I forced myself to finish it because I used to work at the Newberry Library and I liked the bits about it.


message 36: by Stacy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:10AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Stacy I enjoyed this book, I found it hard to put down. It was a great summer read. However, I wouldnt say it was my favorite book.


message 37: by Casey (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:11AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Casey I listened to it on the way to and from work. I didn't think I would care for it since I'm not a big romance fan. It came highly recommended by friends so I gave it a chance.

I won't say it was my favorite book but I will say that I did love it. I didn't find Henry creepy at all because the author made a point of recognizing just how creepy it *could* be.

The person I found creepy was Gomez, even as I liked him. Marrying Charise (?) while still carrying the torch for Claire and having sex with her on the kitchen table. Yikes! Claire was grieving so I can overlook her, but not him.

Agree with the earlier poster that said he felt cheated by the ending. I would have liked a little peek at what happened since he died.


message 38: by Crystal (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:20AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Crystal Allen In my top five of all time. So beautiful. I've read it a few times now. I had my husband read it and he loved it too. I used to work at a bookstore and this was the book that I sold the most copies of. Out of over a hundred people that I recommended it to only a few came back and said they didn't like it.


message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

I didn't like this book. I thought it was sappy and predictable. I do wonder if my disappointment with the book was influenced by my preconceptions, and I've thought about giving it another try. "Everyone" loved this book, so I went into it with very high expectations.


message 40: by Maggie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:22AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Maggie I loved this book too. I used to work at a bookstore and recommended it to a customer who was looking for a present for his wife. The next day he came back to return it because his wife didn't like it. That completely blew my mind, but I guess everone has their own tastes.


message 41: by Casey (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:22AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Casey Sounds like she just read the jacket and didn't think it sounded very good. I felt the same way but with so many recommendations I gave it a chance anyway.


message 42: by Holly (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:46AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Holly Margueya - "Fluffy - check. Sinister in dealing with young Claire - check. Very hard to follow in the beginning and a premise that was too unbelievable for me to get into - check."

I hear you on these points, however, unlike the science fiction and fantasy stories that I simply CAN NOT seems to get interestd in... I was hooked with this one. I tried to let my 'suspension of disbelief' work in its fullest and truly enjoyed the mind-raking experience of this reading. I even re-read the beginning after the end?! HA!

Holly


message 43: by Kristen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:00PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kristen Yes, the premise is unbelievable but the feelings that each of the characters felt and A.N. told so well were very, very real. The book spoke to the isolation, companionship, violation and pain that people feel when they are in love. Being in love and married isn't all about the joy. It is also about negotiating and pain. We all have to deal with those feelings--even if our spouses aren't time travelers.


message 44: by Bec (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:08PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bec I absolutely adored this book - a story that still haunts me, long after I first read the book. And for me that is the mark of a great book.


message 45: by Brooke (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:08PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Brooke I am a big fan of this one as well. I was leary at first as it seemed too sci fi/fantasy, but that didn't detract from the underlying love story. Very emotional read and interesting premise.

Makes me wonder what happened to the daugther as she began to time travel. The differences in being dropped naked for a man vs. a woman into any random situation. I like the concept of not being able to take anything with you from time to time so as not to impact the past, present of future, but definitely wouldn't want to time travel if I had to do it naked.


message 46: by Carol (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:24PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Carol Couldn't put this down, I was utterly moved ans spell bound reading this and would absolutely recommend it to everyone. Was I the only one who sobbed and sobbed at the end though?


message 47: by Clare (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:26PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Clare It's C.l.a.r.e. ..people.
little bit of a chip on my shoulder about that one. :)
so thanks...sarah, and a marilyn I think, too, who spelled it right.

I liked this book a lot, but I recommended it with that caveat that it was fairly superficial. Aside from being an older, knowledgeable, somewhat scandalous guy (what teenager wouldn't be in love) what mind-blowing connection do these two people have? The knowledge of a 26 is nectar to any young person, and vice versa for a young girls innocence to an older guy.

It's almost a cheat to avoid having a real beginning to the romance, because at each point they meet, one of them knows so much more than the other.

But, it was like a guilty-pleasure read, like singing along to old Wilson-Phillips tunes. I live in Chicago and recognized so much of the (often hollow and contrived) descriptions, which was fun. I actually loved reading it and got all engrossed...greedy reader syndrome.

Now I've got some friends trying to hook me up with this punk kid named Henry! WTF.


message 48: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:59PM) (new)

I am only about 100 pages into this book but it really needs to pick up. I see all the great reviews on this one and to me so far it is really slow. Did any one else think this?

Also, I really don't like the time a 30 something old man spends with a child. I know nothing is going on but it just seems a little odd to me.


message 49: by Michelle (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:00PM) (new)

Michelle Anyone seen Journeyman yet???


message 50: by Lena (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:01PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lena I have, and it's hard not to wonder how much of that show was "inspired" by this book. But the differences are large enough I'm curious to see where they go with it. Dan should consider himself lucky that the show's producers let him time-travel with his clothes ;-)


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