Her Fearful Symmetry

From the bestselling author of The Time Traveler's Wife comes a second novel that promises not to disappoint any fan of ghost stories, romances, or well-written literary fiction. With Her Fearful Symmetry, Audrey Niffenegger presents the story of two twin sisters who inherit their aunt's flat in London upon her death. Bordering the walls of Highgate Cemetery, one of the most famous Victorian cemeteries in London, they know that something is strange about the place as soon as they arrive... but no, it's not that much of a cookie-cutter ghost story.

Instead, this is a story of love, romance, siblings, family, secrets an betrayal. With her haunting prose - no pun intended - Niffenegger weaves together a cast of truly unique characters, from the OCD agoraphobic crossword writer upstairs, to the lonely bachelor downstairs, from the ancient keeper of the cemetery to those typical Victorian figures buried within it, and, perhaps most importantly, from one twin to the next, and from one set of twins to the next.

Sadly, Niffenegger's character development is a bit uneven, with some sudden and unexpected actions scattered throughout otherwise rather linear characters. Rather than seeming intentional, it feels to the reader as though the author knew her characters almost too well; I'm sure in her head, there was an explanation for every action at every given time, but this reasoning does not always carry through to the reader, causing a few confusing pages here and there.

Overall, though, the plot and writing carry the story through this flaw, and the series of unexpected events promises to keep any reader turning the page to the very end, and wishing for more when you get there.

Bottom line: A haunting novel of love, family and betrayal, Her Fearful Symmetry is worth the time it will take to read it - and trust me, that won't be long, as you won't be able to put it down.

[I received an advance copy of Her Fearful Symmetry in the mail - not sure what mailing list I got on for that, but no complaints here! But, in the interest of full FTC-disclosure, I did get a free copy of this one.]

No comments

Thanks for stopping by!