Yes, I know, several years and a few episodes of 'Moffat does Niffenegger in Doctor Who' too late.
But, but, I have just finished reading Audrey Niffenegger's novel The Time Traveller's Wife and it WAS lovely.
I've been meaning to read it since it came out, and then as everyone kept going on about how it was being ploughed in Doctor Who I felt I both should and wondered if one or both of these things would be diminished by reading it.
I'm kinda glad I left it till now, partly because it gave me space to enjoy the book for what it was and partly because I could come to it after starting to read the effortlessly wonderful work 'The Night Bookmobile' in the Guardian Review.
For those who still haven't read Niffenegger's novel, it's a delight. A rollercoaster ride through time and life, full of wit and passion. It's sexy, sensual and deeply moving. I sniffled several times and was reading the final sections through fought-back tears. Hell, I'm soppy. But by the end I felt I knew them so well - Henry and Clare and everyone around them. So of course the inevitability of events was going to catch up with me and them.
Once you are into the flow of the narrative - and it takes no effort for all its twisting timeline crossings - you are swept along with the characters.
Does it matter that Moffat has seemingly appropriated elements from this tale for his own work? No, because neither the possibility of love nor the impact of time travel are new types of tale. The inspiration is used well but I would say that looking back on the episodes from having read the text I don't feel they diminish them or my experience of the book.
It's too beautiful a tale for that to happen.