“The Time Traveler’s Wife” book beats film

By Jordan Sunkel
Round Table reporter

Although many people visited the movie theaters on Aug. 14, some were unaware that The Time Traveler’s Wife is also a novel by Audrey Niffenegger.

Excited to hear that the book was becoming a movie, I hurried to order the book and read it. The book immediately drew me in, taking hold of my imagination, and caused me to lose many hours of sleep while I rushed to finish the story.

The Time Traveler’s Wife tells the story of Clare Abshire and Henry DeTamble, an “untraditional love story,” as the back cover reads. Clare has known Henry since she was 6, but for Henry, that is his future. Henry is a time traveler; he visits not only her past but his – and occasionally their – future. This love story tells the tale of Clare and Henry’s struggle to be with each other when he is “impaired” by this curse of fate.

Audrey Niffenegger is a talented author. She understands how to play into the emotions of the reader. She allows readers to feel the pain Clare goes through, laugh with Henry, and experience the love shared between the two. All of her characters are realistic; Henry could be the neighbor next door, Clare, a best friend. They go through conflicts that all couples do: fights, problems, tough decisions, and hard consequences.

She writes in a warped timeline, changing the time periods as Henry does, from his present day to learning French vowels with Clare in the Meadow when she’s 8. It can make reading difficult, but it provides and interesting turn to the story, going back into Clare’s past and seeing what she experienced all the times he visited her.

Audrey Niffenegger reminds her readers how important it is to value the time spent with a loved one. She writes, “Time is priceless, but it’s free. You can’t own it, you can use it. You can spend it. But you can’t keep it. Once you’ve lost it you can never get it back.”

Ending The Time Traveler’s Wife with the words, “He is coming, and I am here,” Audrey Niffenegger allows the reader to create the final ending to Clare and Henry’s story.

To those who saw the movie, I strongly recommend reading the book. It’s said that books are always better, and this one certainly is.