Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

When Elspeth dies of cancer, she leaves her London apartment to Julia and Valentina, her twin nieces. The girls live in Chicago and they have never met their aunt; they don’t know anything about her, as their mother Edie doesn’t want to talk about her sister. They only know that Edie and Elspeth are also twins and that they have been estranged for the last twenty-one years. So when the girls receive a letter stating that Elspeth has bequeathed her entire estate to them (with two conditions: they must live in the apartment for an entire year before they may sell it and their parents are not allowed to set foot in the apartment), their parents are not happy about it. They don’t want Julia and Valentina to leave and they are concerned about the fact that the twins will soon live on their own in a foreign land. Nevertheless, the girls are thrilled and can’t wait to embark on the biggest adventure of their lives. So when they turn twenty-one, Julia and Valentina excitingly head to London. There, they are delighted to find out that their aunt’s apartment is overlooking Highgate Cemetery, where George Eliot, Karl Marx and other famous people are buried. The twin girls like to live in London and they become accustomed to their new freedom and come to know their new neighbours. Julia and Valentina meet Robert, their aunt’s former lover, who still mourns over Elspeth’s death, and Martin, who suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder and never leaves his apartment. As the girls soon become entwined in the lives of their neighbours, they also find out that they’re not alone in their apartment: Elspeth’s ghost is trapped there and tries to communicate with the twins. Having made this enthralling discovery, the girls are determined to unveil Edie and Elspeth’s secrets and to find out why the two have been estranged for such a long time. However, what they don’t know is the fact that this whole experience will change their lives forever!

Audrey Niffenegger has created a unique and haunting story about love, identity and rivalry and she has provided us with a tale full of mysteries, secrets and twists. Her Fearful Symmetry is beautifully written and suspenseful; its fascinating scenery and well-constructed plot capture the reader’s attention and the reader is immediately caught up in a world of deception and darkness. I really enjoyed reading about London and the historic Highgate Cemetery and I liked the characters, since they are original and well developed. Furthermore, I liked the fact that the novel contains gothic elements and I was intrigued by the relationship between the twins. The novel skillfully captures an intense and oppressive atmosphere and its dark setting will remind you of a Victorian ghost story. All in all, I really liked this novel and I recommend it to everyone who likes to read dark ghost stories!

I would like to thank Amanda McPherson from Regal Literary Inc. for sending me an advance reading copy of Her Fearful Symmetry!


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sandy
    Oct 06, 2009 @ 18:07:10

    I just bought this on my Kindle, and am going to dig in as soon as humanly possible!


  2. vivienne
    Oct 06, 2009 @ 19:58:57

    I can no longer count how many times I have picked this up and put it down again in the last few days in order to buy it. Your review isn’t helping as now my urge to buy it is even stronger.


  3. Darlene
    Oct 07, 2009 @ 15:25:43

    Great review. I hope to be reading this one soon. I really enjoyed Time Traveller’s Wife so I’m hoping to like this one too. Mine has a blue cover though-very different from the one you posted.


  4. Melody
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 05:06:53

    I bought this book recently and it’ll be on my top 20 TBR list. 😉


  5. Jemima
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 19:01:31

    This sounds like one I will need to get a hold of. I wonder if it would make a good movie?


  6. Nymeth
    Oct 08, 2009 @ 20:21:47

    Sigh. I’m sad that my review copy of this never came! However, I was planing on buying it anyway, and it sounds like I need to do it sooner rather than later. I’m glad you enjoyed it so much!


    • Nymeth
      Oct 08, 2009 @ 20:29:59

      Okay, reading my comment again it sounds like I was complaining that I was entitled to an ARC but didn’t get one. I was NOT! I meant “never came” after giving my address to someone who said they’d sent me one. Anyway…just clearing that up 😛


  7. Andreea
    Oct 10, 2009 @ 15:22:22

    Sandy: I hope you’ll enjoy it!

    Vivienne: I know how it is with these books:)

    Darlene: My book has a different color because it’s an ARC. I hope you’ll enjoy reading it!

    Melody: Happy reading and I hope you’ll like it as much as I did!

    Jemima: I think it would make a great movie:)

    Nymeth: I’m sorry that you didn’t receive an ARC, although they said they would send it to you. I hope you’ll read it anyway!


  8. Carole Colbert
    Oct 10, 2009 @ 16:37:33

    This sounds like the perfect book to read at Halloween. Thanks for a great review.


  9. Milka
    Oct 11, 2009 @ 21:00:37

    Thanks for the great review, I will certainly look for this book. 🙂


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