'The Time Traveler’s Wife' by Audrey Niffenegger is essentially a love story, albeit an unconventional one, of Henry and Clare. Henry is a Time Traveler who travels in and out of any of his chronological age, without any control on where and when he would travel; while Clare has a regular chronological life. This almost 600-page, extraordinary page-turner is a beautiful blend of science fiction and romance. It certainly holds its own amongst such timeless classic love stories like ‘Love Story’ and ‘The Notebook’.
Henry De Tamble is suffering from a rare genetic disorder called Chrono Displacement because of which he time travels. During one of his time travels, Henry meets his future wife, Clare, much before he is actually supposed to meet her, and from there starts an amazing and unique love story between them. Henry and Clare keep on meeting at different ages, and pick up the pieces of their love story from where they had left before. It is amazing how Clare falls in love with Henry; while knowing it very well that Henry can never promise her the single most important thing that love promises - ‘to be there for each other always’- and yet they try to create an amazing life together.
The book is actually written as a series of diary entries by Henry and Clare. It always starts with the age of Clare and Henry at that moment. One might find it a little confusing in the beginning but soon the pieces fit together, and it is easy to get lost in the world of Henry and Clare. Their love story is extremely ‘in the moment’ because they don’t know when, where and in what age they will meet next. But it is not all that rosy, because for Clare, it might mean loving a different person altogether - Henry at 28 and then Henry at 43; people become different when they grow up. For Henry, it is difficult too because when he time travels he is in the frame of mind from where he is coming. Amidst the disappearing acts, Henry manages to do a regular job as a librarian, enjoys a social life with friends Gomez and Charisse, deals with his problems with his dad and also tries to solve the puzzle of his life with geneticist Dr Kendrick. If this is not a roller-coaster life, then what is!
I would give it 4.5 out of 5 for its originality, momentum, grip and amazing characters. I take a 0.5 for a few minor things which I thought were unnecessary in the story. This book is something which one would want to recommend to everyone for a long, long time.