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The Traveller's Wife by Mind Map: The Traveller
5.0 stars - 1 reviews range from 0 to 5

The Traveller's Wife

"It's hard being left behind. I wait for Henry, not knowing where he is, wondering if he's okay. It's hard to be the one who stays." —Clare

"Why Should I Care?"


Henry never knows where and when time will split him out next

Neither the past nor the future

How often do we escape our present, cruising through life on autopilot, waiting for better days, or missing the ones that have passed?


Some categorize it as science fiction, others as a romance. Niffenegger herself is reluctant to label the novel, saying she "never thought of it as science fiction, even though it has a science-fiction premise". In Niffenegger's view, the story is primarily about Henry and Clare's relationship and the struggles they endure. She has said that she based Clare and Henry's romance on the "cerebral coupling" of Dorothy Sayers' characters Lord Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane. As critic Marc Mohan describes, the novel "uses time travel as a metaphor to explain how two people can feel as if they've known each other their entire lives".  

Science fiction


Time travel stories


The Beginning of the couple's meetings

When Clare is six years old and Henry 26

Clare: 18 years old, Henry: 38

Their relationship and wedding

Clare is left alone 3 times on their wedding day

Clare said NO the first time Henry proposed to her

Their having a child

6 miscarriages

1 full term pregnancy

1 vasectomy

ALBA is born, A time traveler, too, But she has control over her 'travels', A music prodigy, taking after her grandparents (Henry's parents)

Their last meeting ?

On New Year's Eve 2006 Henry time travels into the middle of the Michigan woods in 1984 and is accidentally shot by Clare's brother. Henry returns to the present and dies in Clare's arms.

Henry's death - or not?

Clare devastated

'Stop waiting' from Henry in a letter

Clare 82, Henry 43: they meet again (for the last time?)




Free will







The New York Times

The New Yorker

Book Tour


45,000 copies in 1 week

The Observer: a publishing sensation

15 countries

Niffenegger's second novel: "Her Fearful Symmetry"


Clare is NOT a self-portrait

Her parents' marriage as an inspiration

A metaphor of her own love affairs