So, challenge number one for the 30 Day Book Challenge is “Favourite Book”, and I’m choosing Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife. I love this book so, so much. It’s the story of Clare and Henry, and of how their lives are affected by Henry’s genetic time-traveling disorder. Henry has no control over when he disappears, or where he ends up, though many of his trips involve returning to emotional scenes throughout his life. At one point in the book, his time-traveling is described as offering him the chance to revisit important events from different angles. It is Clare’s timeline, however, which the novel follows, and because of the linear fashion of the story, we are able to see how she copes with Henry’s comings and goings.
Audrey Niffenegger includes so much extra in this book that it feels like you are completely immersed in Clare and Henry’s lives. There are literary mentions (under the guise of Henry’s job as a librarian), musical references, tours of museums and the streets of Chicago, and it makes the novel so real that it becomes entirely believeable.
My adoration of this book isn’t helped by the fact that I am utterly in love with Henry deTamble. One of the Goodreads reviews (this one!) had this to say about him: It’s a rarity in fiction to have a librarian character who is a man, a time traveler, reader and lover, while still leaping off the page as the world’s first well-read, punk librarian. Unf.
I recommend this book to absolutely everybody. I love it so much that I have flatly refused to ever see the film, purely on the basis that the poster is all wrong, and Rachel McAdams doesn’t have long red hair. I cry every time I read it, and I cry earlier ever time, because I know what’s coming and I always hope that the ending has changed by the time I get to it. It never has.
Top tip: Don’t read the last 50 pages on public transport, or, in fact, anywhere that anyone will see you. You will be sobbing like a child who has just lost hs favourite toy. I’m not even joking. You’ve been warned.