It’s a novel by Audrey Niffenegger, and was made into a movie late last year. Didn’t go to see the movie – maybe I will get the chance at some point to see if it does the book justice.

I had heard about the book before buying and reading it. Mostly good comments. the premise is original enough. Henry has a genetic disorder which sends him to the back and future, in effect time travelling, whenever he is stressed or sad or angry. In his trips he meets his “future” wife, Claire, when she is still a child. Niffenegger moves beween their two points of view, in the first person, and begins with Henry visiting the young Claire. I found the story gripping and excellently told for the most part. Henry’s struggle to control his destiny and failing to, Claire’s faith and moments of despair, moments of great humor and great sorrow.  Excellent – and this is her first novel!

Now, I didn’t like everything about the novel. Honestly, I would have cut away most of the middle, where instead of concentrating as she did before and after on the time travelling and its effects, Niffenegger focuses for an awfully long time on the inability of Claire and Henry to have children because of his genetic differences, and mainly on Claire’s total breakdown, Henry’s depression and the near breakdown of their relationship. I didn’t like how long this went, on and on, and especially how it was resolved not through their own actions but by means of a time-impossibility: a younger Henry, travelling in time, gets Claire pregnant. Well, the impossibility is not only the time travelling, but also the wtf moment of: why can he get her up the duff if he is a year younger, if the problem is genetic? this question is never answered.

However, apart from this not so great middle part, I highly recommend the book, especially for the first and also for the last part. Great stuff there, unlike anything I’ve ever read. And trust me, I have read an awful lot in my life. 🙂