#2014Blogger Challenge: Once Upon A Time...

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It's post three of the #2014BloggerChallenge, and this time it's about books. As regular readers will know I am a huge bookworm; I'm the kind of person who gets nervous if she doesn't have something to read and who takes her Kindle everywhere she goes. So a books post was exciting and scary at the same time - so many ideas, but how to choose what to write about? I thought long and hard about my topic for this one, and eventually settled on a review of my favourite book, The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

For those of you who haven't read it, The Time Traveler's Wife is a fantasy science fiction love story. Henry, the main character, has something called chrono-displacement, which means he randomly disappears and reappears somewhere else in his lifetime - by hours, days or even years. On one of these disappearances, he meets a young Clare, and with that we're catapulted into the craziest, most bizarre but wonderful love story that I've ever read. The book was also made into a film a couple of years ago, but I'd strongly advise you read the book before you watch the film as it's not that great - Clare doesn't even have red hair! (Sorry, I'm that kind of book nerd who gets narky about characters not looking like they should. But I stand by my view that the budget could have stretched to a box of red hair dye or a wig.)

Why do I love this book so much? Firstly, because the characters are so brilliantly written. Clare and Henry may be completely loved-up - sometimes almost disgustingly so - but they still have flaws and their lives are by no means perfect, which made them feel much more rounded. I'm not a fan of characters where everything is wonderful for them, or equally where everything sucks, and Audrey Niffenegger does a great job of balancing that light and shade. Henry and Clare are a very believable couple, with all the highs and lows that most relationships go through, which makes me warm to them and keep rooting for them the whole way.

Niffenegger also has a fantastic ability to make a world where people randomly jump through time and space seem completely believable, as well as resisting the urge to explain things too much. We don't know why Henry does this; all we know is that he does, and that it's hard for him and Clare, and it made me love them even more. Finally, she's brilliant at creating that emotional tension. Because you've become so invested in Henry and Clare's story, when the twist comes, it is absolutely heartwrenching. I remember reading this book on a train going home after visiting N (this was before I moved to London) and absolutely sobbing my heart out for the last quarter of it, because it was so sad and then so poignant at the end. I won't say any more at the risk of spoiling it but it was utterly, utterly wonderful.

Writing this post has made me want to go back and read it again, and I'd really recommend that you read it too. I've also just discovered there's a sequel coming soon so make sure you read this one quick if you want to get up to speed for the next one - because, trust me, you will.

Have you read The Time Traveler's Wife? Or do you have any other favourite unusual love stories?

7 comments:

  1. Oh I love this book,and I blubbed through the last bit too! I haven't watched the film yet, as I have heard it'snot as good as well. I don't want to ruin the book!

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    1. Hi Rosie, thanks for your comment! I agree that the ending is so sad, but I love the last scene in particular; it just perfectly captures the whole feel of the book. Looking forward to the sequel though, I just hope it's as good!

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  2. I love this book! I found it quite hard going at first as it was quite complicated how it jumps about all over, but once you get into it, it's brilliant. Such a beautiful story.

    I'm also part of the #2014BloggerChallenge and posted about my favourite book of 2013 - I Am Pilgrim, by Terry Hayes: http://www.shabby-chic-home.com/2014bloggerchallenge/book-review-i-am-pilgrim/.

    Victoria, x shabby-chic-home.com

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    1. Thanks for your comment Victoria! Glad to hear you liked The Time Traveler's Wife too :) I Am Pilgrim is on my to-read list but I haven't got round to reading it yet, so will definitely head over and check out your review!

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  3. Oh, I loved The Time Travelers Wife! You're right, the characters are so well written (I'm sure I could have easily fallen in love with Henry) and it's just an amazing storyline. I've seen the film a couple of times; it's good but not quite as good as the book.
    Have you read her other book, 'Her Fearful Symmetry'? It's set all around Highgate Cemetary and also has a fab twist in the tale! :-) x

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    1. I have read Her Fearful Symmetry and really enjoyed it - it was strange to say the least but written so beautifully, and describes the setting really well. I need to read it again actually!

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  4. Oh I love this book. Haven't read it for a very long time though so I think a re-read is in order! x

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