Her Fearful Symmetry

Her Fearful Symmetry
by: Audrey Niffenegger

Challenges: TBR 2010

Published: 2009

# of pages: 416

What a unique and interesting book! Niffenegger also wrote The Time Traveler's Wife and while Her Fearful Symmetry isn't as good (in my opinion), it is still a great read.

The story follows twins Valentina and Julia as they travel from their home in America to London, to move into their deceased aunt's home. Their aunt leaves mysterious instructions, which adds to the mystery of the London flat that overlooks Highgate Cemetery. The girls meet some interesting characters as they settle in: a man who was the lover of their aunt and an OCD man who hasn't left his flat in years. The twins have always been inseparable, but they start to drift apart in their new home after being drawn to different men and discovering that there's a reason why Valentina often feels like she's being watched in the apartment.

The story is creepy, but not scary. It's definitely a Gothic tale, but I felt that it flowed well unlike many Gothic stories I've read in the past that seem disjointed in parts. I liked the connections Niffenegger made between Valentina and Julia and Elspeth and Edie. The ending was a complete surprise, I have to admit I didn't see it coming at all. There were actually several surprises throughout the novel, but the actions of Valentina and Elspeth shocked me.

This would be a great book club choice. It's interesting that I often think that books that don't have happy endings or go the way I want them to go make good book club reads. I think it's because they are thought provoking. After I finished this story I told my husband about it because it's a little frustrating...it made me want to tell someone just so they could say, "weird," haha. It's not that I didn't enjoy the book, I thought it was great, but it is definitely not at all like The Time Traveler's Wife. I want to read it again now that I know how it turns out because it's one of those books you can read multiple times and continuously discover new things.

I recommend this to lovers of the Gothic genre or anyone looking for a book that is full of surprises.

Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I'd be happy to post yours as well.

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Nymeth said...

I have this on my tbr pile, but I'm saving it for October. I have a feeling I'll love it, though, even considering it's unlike TTTW.

Myckyee said...

I read this one too and I agree - I didn't like it as much as Time Traveler. Still it was good. Nice review!

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