Okay, so I know I was slow to drink of The Time Traveler’s Wife kool-aid, but I drank it and promptly spit it right back out. This book, my friends, I do not understand the appeal.
The premise of The Time Traveler’s Wife is you have Clare and Henry, and Henry’s a time traveler because he has a wonky gene, and in this time traveling that he’s wont to do, he meets Clare! Who ends up being his wife! Excepting, he meets Clare when she’s SIX, which is just a young’un! So Clare grows up knowing Henry as this dude who shows up naked in a field behind her house sometimes (for reasons that don’t exactly make sense, Henry’s clothes fall off when he time travels, so he’s always ending up nekkid and looking for clothes). And eventually Clare finds out that ZOMG she and Henry get MARRIED and HOW ROMANTIC IS THAT?! So the story’s about how Henry and Clare are so much in love, but this story is tragic as Henry flits in and out of Clare’s life (unwillingly! He can’t control when/where he time travels) and you just know this is going to end in heartbreak for Clare. Or, at least you assume it will because Niffenegger makes it really clear that This Will Not End Well.
And I know, most of you have already read the book, so instead of being coy, let me just tell you what I didn’t like. If’n you haven’t read the book and don’t want spoilers, just skip to the last sentence or two where I tell you I really didn’t like it
There was holes with Henry’s time traveling. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what didn’t add up, but I’m sure someone smarter than me has dissected the time traveling in this book. And I know! How very cynical of me to find problems with the time travel, but seriously, would it have been so hard to explain it a little better and make it so I might actually believe it? I’m really not that smart, so it wouldn’t have been that hard.
Henry can be a total dick. I know his being a dick was more before he and Clare got together, but WHY would I root for Clare to get together with someone who’s a dick? WHY would I want Clare to date a guy that MOST LIKELY will change, but hasn’t become that guy yet? That’s just stupid, wanting a nice girl to date a jerk on the off chance he’ll change. Here’s a crazy, ass backwards idea: why don’t we wait until the guy HAS changed? I know! I have crazy thoughts!
There was crassness from Clare that seemed to be there JUST TO BE THERE. I’m no prude, but really? Some of the things Clare said, I was like, Who are you and what have you done with Clare. Because really. If Clare really would have said those things, then I think a little mention somewhere about how Clare sometimes gets Turrets would have been helpful.
How completely selfish and irresponsible of Clare to INSIST that she and Henry have their own baby as opposed to adopting, knowing that having a child together would produce a kid with the time traveling gene. And let’s say they have a girl. Now they’ve got a girl who’s going to be appearing naked in random places as she time travels? What the hell is so terrible about adopting? I KNOW. I GET IT. I know why she wanted to have a baby with Henry, but I have no words for how arrogantly selfish this was. She risks the safety and health of her future unborn child FOR HER OWN HAPPINESS. Wow, I didn’t know that it was okay to put someone else at risk so long as you’re happy. That’s great.
The whole story…I guess it was okay. There were too many things I didn’t get or couldn’t get behind, though, for me to really enjoy this book.
Rating: 69 out of 100
Book source: I borrowed this book from a friend.
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