Mastodon The Writing Desk: Book Review: The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

24 May 2014

Book Review: The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Available on Amazon US and Amazon UK

What book would you take on a holiday to a remote cottage in the English Lake District?  I chose The Time Traveller’s wife by Audrey Niffenegger for several reasons. I’ve been fascinated by the idea of time travel since reading H. G. Wells’ TheTime Machine as a child. I have also been avoiding seeing the film version of The Time Traveller’s wife, as I wanted to approach the book without knowing how it ends. I was also interested to see a first novel that became an international best seller.

It turned out to be perfect holiday reading, with short, episodic chapters that could easily be read between walks in the hills. It is also one of those great books that keep you wondering about the small details, skilfully dropped into the story, that you just know are going to be hugely significant later on. I used the idea of switching point of view from husband to wife in my second novel, The Shell, without realising this was what Audrey did to such good effect. It is a great plot device, as you get two stories for the price of one and keeps up the pace, as you want to see the other person’s take on events.

I’ll not spoil the book for anyone by giving away the ending but there was a point when it could have ended quite happily. I could see there was still a way to go and correctly guessed that it would descend into the darker novel hinted at in the opening chapters. Original, and engaging, this is really a story of the power of unconditional love. Highly recommended even for people who don’t usually go for time travel books. Now I’m going to look for the film on DVD!


  1. Niffenegger has crafted a fine, fine book, one that will last for years. I recommend it enthusiastically. Get this book and savor every sentence, every scene. It is a triumphant debut.Highly recommended Zespri New Zealand Golden kiwi fruit information

    1. Hi Grace I agree, the movie version is a good effort but people have to read the book!


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