The Bottom Line
- 'Her Fearful Symmetry' provides a slowly suspenseful plot.
- The characters are interesting and complex.
- Niffenegger does a good job creating mood -- a ghost story that is as realistic as possible.
- One of the key decisions that a character makes seems somewhat rash and implausible.
- 'Her Fearful Symmetry' by Audrey Niffernegger was published in September 2009.
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster
- 416 Pages
Guide Review - 'Her Fearful Symmetry' by Audrey Niffenegger - Book Review
Elspeth has been estranged from her twin sister for years, but before dying of cancer, she decides to leave her apartment near Highgate Cemetery to her twin nieces who she has only met once. The condition: the nieces must move from America and live in the apartment before selling it. The twins' mother (Elspeth's sister) is not allowed into the apartment.
Julia is thrilled to inherit the apartment and have a chance at adventure. Her twin, Valentina, is less enthusiastic, but always lets Julia make the decisions. Once in London, however, Valentina begins to find some independence. She also experiences a strange connection with her aunt, which is further solidified when the twins discover that their aunt's ghost is living in the apartment.
This all may sound a little far-fetched and silly, but if you read The Time Traveler's Wife, you know that Niffenegger has a gift for taking the far-fetched and making it seem plausible. As she does so, she reveals depth in her characters and looks at the nature of love and control.
Overall, Her Fearful Symmetry is an enjoyable book that I recommend reading on a cold, windy night.