I should have known before I started… Given my lukewarm feelings about The Time Traveller’s Wife I should have passed right by this title in the bookstore. However, having always been a complete sucker for a novel with as good a title as this, and as fascinatingly beautiful a cover, I bought it.
My first mistake.
While reasonably well written this novel pretty much lacks any other redeeming qualities. The story is far-fetched and absurd to the brink of pointlessness. The setting is beautiful but flat. Every character, main or otherwise, is painfully stupid. None of them elicit the intended curiosity or sympathy. Julia, the most worthy character, is so horribly cruel that I couldn’t imagine feeling anything towards her other than annoyance. In fact, the only character I cared for at all throughout the entire 496 pages was a little white kitten.
I nearly gave up the book as a bad job three-quarters of the way through having (successfully) guessed the rest of the tale, however it sat on my bedside table mocking me, so I finished it. In my opinion The Time Traveller’s Wife was trite, obvious and far too long, but at least its characters were likable and the storyline was interesting enough to make me wish I’d thought of it first. Her Fearful Symmetry, however, was simply boring, unrealistic and a waste of my time.
My apologies to Ms Niffenegger. I do like her. Perhaps one day she can give one of my novels a pathetically scathing review. Until then I just hope she concentrates on making her next work even the tiniest bit believable.