Rated Reads

The Time Traveler’s Wife

by Audrey Niffenegger

Rated: High

Henry DeTamble has a rare condition — not some weird blood disorder or heart defect, but one that certainly doesn’t happen in real life — he pops in and out of time. He just disappears right from whenever he is and pops into the past or the future. He doesn’t go into prehistoric times or anything; he just goes back or forward, oh, about 30 years or so at the most. This is problematic for him, naturally; it makes it difficult to plan things or to carry on a completely normal life. It even makes it difficult for him and his wife to have a child, because his disorder apparently is genetic.

Clare, his devoted wife, met Henry when she was only a child and he popped into her time. So when she meets him in real time as an adult, he doesn’t know her because he has yet to get to the age when he does start traveling back to her childhood. And Clare doesn’t just know him from one visit; she has spent lots of time with him over the years, since he popped to her time and place quite a bit. The two seem fated to be together.

The most unnerving part of the story for the two lovers is that, because of bits of information Henry has pieced together, he feels his years are numbered.

The story of The Time Traveler’s Wife is original and well-thought-out. It holds together well and certainly functions as a star-crossed-lovers and doomed-love story. It grabs onto the heartstrings and plucks fervently. Any woman who can finish this novel without tears welling up is probably not much of a romantic. It’s a beautiful story. The drawback, however, is the rating. …

Rated: High, for explicit sexual material and lots of it. This couple has sex just about every chapter, it seems, and it’s really, really detailed. There are also at least a handful of uses of strong language, including some words not used nearly as frequently used as the more common “f-word.” Original, beautiful story, but whoa, there’s a lot of sex.

— Reviewed by Cathy Carmode Lim

Cathy Carmode Lim has been reviewing books for newspapers for about 20 years, two of which she was a book page editor. She founded Rated Reads in January 2008.

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  • The Time Traveler’s Wife
  • by Audrey Niffenegger
  • Rated: High
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Reviewer: