Do not be intimidated by the idea of a plot where a character is constantly jumping through time...it sounds confusing, but actually it is not. Audrey Niffenegger provides us with the date and the age of both characters at the beginning of every chapter or change in time or place. The book also mostly follows the story line using Clare's time line which makes the plot surprisingly easy to follow.
The other interesting device is that the story is told from both points of view. Sometimes the narrator is Clare, at other times it is Henry. I really enjoyed this structure and though it sounds confusing, trust me it's not.
What I loved most about this book was the fact that even though it is a love story it doesn't try to gloss over the bad times or pretend that love is always happy and smooth except for a few minor setbacks that are more entertaining than troubling. Stuff happens, life happens, and sometimes nobody is to blame and there's nothing that anyone can do about it. You just have to live with it and try to do the best with what you're given. It also doesn't go to the other extreme of melodrama. This book managed to please my romantic side without ticking off the cynic in me, which is a very delicate balance to maintain.
I also loved the little references to things like Joseph Cornell's boxes, which I love, or the fact that an important scene in the novel takes place at a Violent Femmes concert. On top of all that Henry is a librarian. How can I not love a novel where the romantic lead is a librarian? In fact there is very little about this book that I did not love.
If you're still wondering whether this is the book for you I have one question, taken from the book itself: "Don't you think...that it's better to be extremely happy for a short while, even if you lose it, than to be just okay for your whole life?" If you would answer "yes" then this is the book for you.”
ericalynnb wrote this review Sunday, February 10, 2008.