The Time Traveler's Wife

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The New York Times bestseller The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger is a timeless love story about a male librarian who has a genetic disorder that causes him to time travel unpredictably, and his wife who must face his sporadic absences and dangerous situations while staying in normal time. The story is set in both Chicago Illinois and South Haven Michigan, and jumps around the years ranging from the 1960s to the present.

The novel centers on Henry DeTamble who was born in 1963, unbeknownst to the world that he has a rare genetic disorder that gives him the involuntary ability to travel through time. Henry first begins time traveling at the age of 5, jumping forward and backwards through his lifetime, with his destinations strongly tied to his own history and subconscious. Henry isn’t able to time travel with any items, leaving him naked and in search of clothes and shelter whenever he jumps between times. Because Henry’s trips come unannounced, his guard is always up, giving him an alert and conscientious personality. He is also cunning and intelligent, and both traits help him in situations when he time travels and pops up in difficult scenarios where he has to break and enter into places just to find clothes or food. In an effort to try to keep his life as “natural” as possible, Henry does not try to interfere with things when he travels, so whenever he encounters himself in a different time he just tries to stay out of the way until he travels back to the present. Though Henry’s life has him jumping all over the place, he take comfort in his wife Clare, who shows him love, stability, and patience even when he is traveling through time.

Clare Abshire is another main character in the novel. Though she and Henry didn’t formally meet until she was twenty and he was twenty-eight, Henry was very much a part of Clare’s childhood because of her ties to his subconscious later on in his life. The couple first met when Clare was six and Henry forty-three...
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