Sunday, May 30, 2010

Book Review: Her Fearful Symmetry

I was a bit apprehensive about reading Audrey Niffenegger's second novel Her Fearful Symmetry. Her first novel was The Time Traveler's Wife which I absolutely LOVED-in both book and movie format! I finally got the book from the library last week and I realized I had nothing to fear. This book was captivating and I relished every opportunity I had to read it.

As per a request from Meghan, I will tell you a bit more about what the book is about-and TRY to avoid spoilers. but be warned, this is not a guarantee!!

Julia and Valentina are twenty year old American twins that are inseparable. Their mother is also a twin- however there was a rift between their mother and aunt Elspeth involving their father and the two have not spoken for as long as the twins (J&V) can remember. Aunt Elspeth passes away and leaves her London flat to the twins on the grounds that they must live there for a year before/ if they sell it, and that their parents are forbidden to set foot in the flat.

The twins decide to pick up and move to England-where they are haunted by their aunt's ghost-but not in a super scary "GET OUT OF HERE" haunting, more like "I'm dead, pay attention to me" kind of way. As they come to meet and befriend their neighbours individually rather than as their usual twosome-Julia and OCD Martin upstairs, and Valentina and Robert-Elspeth's former lover/partner downstairs-the twins begin to grow apart. Valentina's growing resentment of Julia's domineering ways and her discovery of the secret between her mother and aunt Elspeth send her down a dark path.

I'm not sure if that description was adequate, but it will have to do. If i write anymore, I may not give away the ending but I feel like I would spoil major parts of the book. I really liked this book-it reminds me of the Time Traveler's Wife in its use of the supernatural but completely different storylines and characters. I look forward to Niffenegger's next novel, which according to her website is entitled: The Chinchilla Girl in Exile.

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