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The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Time traveler's wife book cover A dazzling novel in the most nontraditional fashion, this is the remarkable story of Henry DeTamble, a dashing, adventuresome librarian who travels involuntarily through time, and Clare Abshire, an artist whose life takes a natural sequential course. Henry and Clare’s passionate love affair endures across a sea of time and captures the two lovers in an impossibly romantic trap, and it is Audrey Niffenegger’s cinematic storytelling that makes the novel’s unconventional chronology so vibrantly triumphant.

An enchanting debut and a spellbinding tale of fate and belief in the bonds of love, The Time Traveler’s Wife is destined to captivate readers for years to come. From the Publisher (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Book Club Ideas

For this book club I decided to cook the meal that Henry made for Clare on the night they were engaged.  Henry is an amazing cook.  Throughout the years he begins to teach Clare who, in the beginning of their relationship, cannot boil water.  As someone who loves being in the kitchen, Clare’s transformation into a cook was one of my favorite parts of the book.


I wanted to set up an elegant theme for this party.  I decorated the table with a beautiful flower arrangement and served dinner on white china.  Clare and Henry drank  plenty of wine  on this night, as did we.  The night of our first book club my fabulous sister-in-law Annie brought me the Vinturi Red Wine Aerator.  Wine never tasted so good.  You pour your wine through this aerator mixing the perfect amount of air with your glass of wine.  You are missing out if you don’t already have one.


This meal is perfect for your book club or a romantic night in with your loved one.  The Vichyssoise is also perfect for a summers lunch with your girlfriends.

Vichyssoise Recipe

Creamy soup with chives

Herb Rolls Recipe

Homemade bread rolls with fresh herbs

Rosemary and Lemon Baked  Salmon

Rosemary spring and lemon slices on salmon

Oven Roasted Asparagus

roasted oven asparagus in olive oil

Mango Ice Cream with Raspberries

Creamy Dessert Ice cream Rasperries

Another menu option is to do a picnic. Clare brings crackers, caviar, Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies, strawberries, a bottle of Cabernet, and Brie cheese.


The Time Traveler’s Wife is a classic love story. Clare and Henry are separated by time but bound by love.  In an instant Henry is transported through time leaving Clare anxiously waiting and wondering when and where she will see him again.
Purchase The Time Traveler’s Wife.  My review: 4.5 stars

Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions from the publisher

  1. In The Time Traveler’s Wife, the characters meet each other at various times during their lifetime. How does the author keep all the timelines in order and “on time”?
  2. Although Henry does the time traveling, Clare is equally impacted. How does she cope with his journeys and does she ultimately accept them?
  3. How does the writer introduce the reader to the concept of time travel as a realistic occurrence? Does she succeed?
  4. Henry’s life is disrupted on multiple levels by spontaneous time travel. How does his career as a librarian offset his tumultuous disappearances? Why does that job appeal to Henry?
  5. Henry and Clare know each other for years before they fall in love as adults. How does Clare cope with the knowledge that at a young age she knows that Henry is the man she will eventually marry?
  6. The Time Traveler’s Wife is ultimately an enduring love story. What trials and tribulations do Henry and Clare face that are the same as or different from other “normal” relationships?
  7. How does their desire for a child affect their relationship?
  8. The book is told from both Henry and Clare’s perspectives. What does this add to the story?
  9. Do you think the ending of the novel is satisfactory?
  10. Though history there have been dozens of mediums used for time travel in literature. Please site examples and compare The Time Traveler’s Wife to the ones with which you are familiar.

The Author

Audrey Niffenegger For information on Audrey Niffenegger and her other works click here for her website.

There is also a movie based on The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.  I went with several girlfriends to see the movie and I have to be honest,  those of us who had read the book beforehand had an easier time following the movie’s plot.  But, it is definitely still worth seeing.  Oh, and remember your Kleenex.

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