The Time Traveler’s Wife
I’m late to the game with this one. Originally published in 2003, The Time Traveler’s Wife was made into a movie in 2009, and I understand that a TV series is now in the works. I haven’t seen the movie. But I do love time travel books, and this title has cropped up enough in recent years that I was drawn to it.
I give the author points for originality and for writing style. I give her points for intelligence – working sophisticated art processes and complex genetics discussions into the plot. I give her points for keeping straight who goes where when.
But. But. Full disclosure here – much as I loved “Outlander,” I sometimes have trouble wrapping my head around what is happening at a given time vis a vis the time it is or was or will be and what a character’s thoughts should be accordingly. I like the concept (hence my love of “Outlander”), and I’ve recently enjoyed “The Midnight Library” and “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue.” But those felt more linear. I didn’t have trouble following them.
This one I did. Maybe it was all the time jumping, so much of it, constantly back and forth. Perhaps reading the book in print is easier, rather than listening, as I did.
Maybe it was the title, because I found Clare to be poorly fleshed-out, oddly passive for a title character.
Maybe it was the length – not that I mind long books. This one just had too much material in it that I found irrelevant to the story. There were too many slow parts, and listening to the audiobook made skimming hard.
Maybe it was the gruesome twist that led to the ending and the title character’s reaction (or lack thereof) to it.
Whatever, I do give this 4 stars, because of the monumental task the writer set out for herself and what I felt to be smooth, descriptive, certainly imaginative wordcraft. That said, I’m looking forward to watching the movie and, eventually, the TV series. Screen scripts are typically far shorter than originals. This one should benefit from the cutting.