41 reviews

The Time Traveler's Wife
by Audrey Niffenegger

Published: 2014-05-06
Paperback : 592 pages
162 members reading this now
248 clubs reading this now
218 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 31 of 41 members
The beloved, mega bestselling first novel from Audrey Niffenegger, “a soaring celebration of the victory of love over time” (Chicago Tribune).

A MOST UNTRADITIONAL LOVE STORY, this is the celebrated tale of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who inadvertently travels ...
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Audrey Niffenegger’s innovative debut, The Time Traveler’s Wife, is the story of Clare, a beautiful art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity in his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous, his experiences unpredictable, alternately harrowing and amusing. The Time Traveler’s Wife depicts the effects of time travel on Henry and Clare’s marriage and their passionate love for each other as the story unfolds from both points of view. Clare and Henry attempt to live normal lives, pursuing familiar goals—steady jobs, good friends, children of their own. All of this is threatened by something they can neither prevent nor control, making their story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.

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Discussion Questions

From the Publisher:

1. In The Time Traveler's Wife, the characters meet each other at various times during their lifetime. How does the author keep all the timelines in order and "on time"?

2. Although Henry does the time traveling, Clare is equally impacted. How does she cope with his journeys and does she ultimately accept them?

3. How does the writer introduce the reader to the concept of time travel as a realistic occurrence? Does she succeed?

4. Henry's life is disrupted on multiple levels by spontaneous time travel. How does his career as a librarian offset his tumultuous disappearances? Why does that job appeal to Henry?

5. Henry and Clare know each other for years before they fall in love as adults. How does Clare cope with the knowledge that at a young age she knows that Henry is the
man she will eventually marry?

6. The Time Traveler's Wife is ultimately an enduring love story. What trials and tribulations do Henry and Clare face that are the same as or different from other "normal" relationships?

7. How does their desire for a child affect their relationship?

8. The book is told from both Henry and Clare's perspectives. What does this add to the story?

9. Do you think the ending of the novel is satisfactory?

10. Though history there have been dozens of mediums used for time travel in literature. Please cite examples and compare The Time Traveler's Wife to the ones with which you are familiar.

Suggested by Members

What would you find to be the best part of time traveling? What would be the scariest part?
by readingissexy (see profile) 04/18/11

Is Time Travel possible?
Are we close to proving String Theory?
Was Einstein close to his perfection of The Theory of Everything?
by sheshetta (see profile) 10/01/09

why the focus on art, history, music and books throughout the novel?
what is papermaking for clare? how does her relationship with henry effect her art?
examine determinism, chaos and god. does clare return to god after henry? p74 pb/p76hc
by holland (see profile) 05/02/09

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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  "Loved the characters! "by Stacy T. (see profile) 02/24/20

I love the characters in this romantic novel the let you experience real love. There are a few parts in the book that are not convincing and cause problems in the plot. For example when the hospital puts... (read more)

by Melissa S. (see profile) 09/27/19

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by Yvonne M. (see profile) 05/19/19

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