Book Review: Her Fearful Symmetry

Her Fearful Symmetry
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

This is the second book by Audrey Niffenegger, the bestselling author of "The Time Traveler's Wife". My Book Club was really excited to read this as we all adored "The Time Traveller's Wife". As a group, we always rank the novels out of 10 and I find this a very difficult task. I am always torn, do I give it a good grade if I can't put it down? Or a good grade if it is a great piece of literature. Sometimes you get lucky, as it is either both or neither and that makes the ranking easy to decide upon. "Her Fearful Symmetry" is a book I couldn't put down (maybe because I read it on the beach!) but it is riddled with flaws, and not nearly the piece of great literature that "The Time Traveller's Wife" is.

True to Audrey Niffenegger's style, the premise is original and unprecedented. It is the story of 2 sets of twins, one set who are in their fifties, estranged, and living in 2 different continents. The second set, daughters of one of the aforementioned twins, are in their early twenties, and are inseparable best friends. The young twins inherit their Aunt Elspeth's flat in London England. This is the estranged sister of their mother. Their aunt Elspeth's only condition to the inheritance is that the young girls come and live in the flat for one year. Upon moving in, the girls and the reader quickly realize that the flat is actually haunted by their Aunt Elspeth! The story moves along quite well at the beginning as the author really makes this whole crazy plot very believable. But then something changes. The characters start making decisions that I, as the reader, could not believe they would make. I stopped buying into the concept. It just wasn't credible anymore. In my opinion, it doesn't matter how outrageous the idea in a story is (e.g. "The Time Traveler's Wife" or any of the vampire stories!) If the author makes it plausible, you are willing to suspend your belief. Somewhere along the way, the story just wasn't believable any more and I kept asking myself "Why would he do that?!" As well, I was able to guess the ending and I am always a bit disappointed when I can do that as I love to be surprised. One of the many highlights of the story is that it is set in Highgate Cemetery which is a beautiful, old, quirky cemetery in London. I was so entrigued by the descriptions, that I ended up googling it and was fascinated by the gorgeous pictures.   Some of the characters were fantastic.  martin, who is crippled with severe OCD should have a book written all about himself!  All in all, I would still recommend the novel (since I couldn't put it down) Just try to remember not be judgmental when you read it as that takes out all of the fun.

 3 stars

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *