timetravelerswifeI read Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife over the summer. Actually, I listened to the audio book. It was the next title for my book club, so I read it. Book club was postponed a couple of times, but we finally met on Monday to discuss the book. I’d been waiting to post about it until then, to get some perspective.

I did not enjoy this book. I’ll be honest, I struggled with it and would have put it down if not for this book club. I was determined to finish it, and I like to give things a fair chance. But I found this book to be a real challenge.

My biggest issue was Claire. Here is a female writer who I felt missed a real opportunity to make her lead female character something spectacular, and instead I felt like she had no purpose or identity except to keep Henry tethered to the present. She had no real choices in life; things were decided for her at 6. And I frankly thought her encounters with Henry as a child were creepy. He had all the power, including the power to walk away and give her a chance at a better life than one where she waited for him to disappear and come back constantly. I thought Henry was selfish and more than a little shady. I liked Claire, considerably more than I liked Henry, but I kept waiting for her to say enough is enough.

Henry had a wild past before Claire, but she didn’t have a chance to live a life without him. Her one wild moment haunted her for most of her adult life, and it happened while Henry was gone for 2 years. Who can blame her for that? This book isn’t called The Time Traveler, it’s The Time Traveler’s Wife. So I was expecting more of her in it, and all I found was someone who felt half developed.  There were real moments in this book when I thought finally she would have some more depth and complexity, but it either fell short (her relationship with Gomez) or just flat out disturbed me (the aftermath of her traumatic date in high school). This book was all about Henry, and for me that wasn’t enough.