Not Just Another Grouchy Grammarian

Musings about language, books, grammar, and writing in general

Review: The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenberger

Note: I came to this book because it was the first book listed in Sara Nisha Adams’ The Reading List and it turns out to b the key to the whole story there. So I felt I had t read it.

Second, this is actually an unabridged version of The Time Traveler’s Wife according to the information the actual library had on it.

Third, this is a deliciously complex book, in that due to the genetic “quirk” of one of the protagonists, the story cannot be told as a simple, chronological tale.

Still, the characters are interesting, with one of the minor characters (Kimmie) actually turning into the most unforgettable one of the book. Further, the time travel, while demanding some suspension of disbelief on my part was done a hell of a lot better than the time travel in most romances (and even some sf/fantasy). As a writer myself, I can tell you that this is no small accomplishment.

One flaw I noticed is that – in some ways – Clare is a very stereotypical “girl in love at first sight.” This made her character seem more saccharine than necessary in spots but is not the worst crime in a debut novel.

Also, this had a strong flavor of “chick lit” around it, which is a shame, because there are riches there for everyone. Again, this is not the worst flaw you find in a debut novel, so I’m inclined to cut Ms. Niffenberger a good bit of slack.

I definitely think this is worth reading, and — having read it — understand why it was such a key point in The Reading List. If you have the time, definitely give this one a shot.

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