Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Time Traveler's Wife

I finished reading The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger over the weekend. You may know it from the movie that was just released, but before it was a movie, it was a bestselling book. I wanted to read it before seeing the movie; I have a bad habit of never reading the book after seeing the movie.

Niffenegger was surprising, mainly because she came up with a great premise - time travel due to genetics - but chose to focus almost entirely on a love story instead of the interesting stuff involved with time travel. Sure, love is great, but I didn't really need to know all about Henry and Clare's sex lives. Something left to the imagination is always good, in my opinion. There were some really creepy episodes due to Henry's genetic disability - if you can call it a disability - including a sex scene. Past Henry has sex with Clare while present-Henry sleeps soundly right next to them. I mean, ew. I guess it could be worse....a threesome, maybe.

Ew, now that I've grossed myself out.... It was, overall, an interesting read but the book seemed to stall in the middle when Clare and present-Henry finally meet. And then, before you know it, the end comes and you know the ending is coming. Niffenegger focuses on the beginning and the end with little substance in the middle.

A pleasant surprise within this book was a setting that I frequented quite a lot while in Michigan: the lakeside town of South Haven. I adored this haven with it's slice of Lake Michigan. Reading about it made me want to go back. Henry works at the Newberry in Chicago (a frequently visited place for my friends up north)... Kalamazoo is even mentioned! Oh, memories.

I'm glad I read Niffenegger's novel. Even with some disturbing scenes and lack of true plot developement, it's originality cannot be questioned.