Monday, August 23, 2010

Her Fearful Symmetry

Let me tell you about a book I recently finished. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger. Some of you may have read her first book The Time Traveler's Wife.

Her Fearful Symmetry is about twenty-year old sisters, Julia and Valentina. They have an unusual attachment to each other boarding on creepy sometimes. They receive a package in the mail. Their dead aunt Elspeth has left her estate to the girls. But there are two conditions: They must live in her London flat for a year and their parents must never step foot inside it! You see, Elspeth's estranged twin sister Edie is the girls' mother.

Julia and Valentina embark on this adventure where they meet a cast of eclectic characters determined to have their way despite the consequences: Robert -Elspeth's younger lover, Martin - an agoraphobic suffering from extreme OCD and by far the most interesting character, and Elspeth's ghost who floats and flies around her flat as she adjusts to her new existence.

The plot is full of twists some predictable and many confusing. I had to reread a few sections just so I could follow it. I think Ms. Niffenegger was trying to keep her readers on their toes, but only managed to trip herself up in the process. However, her prose is descriptive and her choice to use Highgate Cemetery in London as her backdrop is fitting for this peculiar ghost story.

If you're willing to suspend disbelief and can forgive this multi-published author her winding and sometimes slow path (it drags a little in the middle) then pick up a copy of Her Fearful Symmetry. I'm not sorry I did. I never miss a chance to read a ghost story and this one will certainly entertain you. And after you're done, come on back and tell me what you think.

Talk to you later...

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