Audrey Niffenegger’s dazzling debut is the story of Clare, a beautiful, strong-minded art student, and Henry, an adventuresome librarian, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was thirty-six, and were married when Clare was twenty-three and Henry thirty-one. Impossible but true, because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with Chrono-Displacement Disorder: his genetic clock randomly resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity from his life, past and future. His disappearances are spontaneous and unpredictable, and lend a spectacular urgency to Clare and Henry’s unconventional love story. That their attempt to live normal lives together is threatened by something they can neither prevent nor control makes their story intensely moving and entirely unforgettable.
I am glad I finally got around to finishing this book. It took a long time for me to finish and I had some rather mixed thoughts about it.
I thought that the concept behind the book was brilliant. I had never read anything like this before, and I really enjoyed the non-linear structure of the book. I also liked Niffengger’s writing and the story itself was pretty solid.
What I did not really like were the characters. Both Henry and Clare struck me as rather bland and unremarkable and I did not find myself getting attached to either of them. While the balancing-their-romance-with-the-time-travelling proved to be interesting, I could not find anything otherwise interesting about the romance which played an important role in the book.