Saturday, 2 July 2011

Her Fearful Symmetry

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

This one's been sitting on my TBR pile for ages - think I bought it in a 3 for 2 offer somewhere. I'd enjoyed The Time Traveller's Wife so was keen to see what the author had written next.

This book is a ghost story, with a whacky plot involving identical twins, souls coming loose from their bodies and resurrection.

Twins Valentina and Julia are left a flat near Highgate Cemetery by their estranged aunt Elspeth. They move in, but find their aunt's ghost is still in residence and her grieving boyfriend Robert lives downstairs. The aunt and the twins' mother are also twins, with a deep dark secret which is revealed when Robert finally gets round to reading the papers Elspeth left for him. Meanwhile he's fallen in love with Valentina. So far so good, but then it all gets weird. Won't say how in case you read it!

One thing I found really annoying about this book is the constant shifts in point of view. Within a single short paragraph you could easily jump between three or four different heads. The result was that you never felt close to any of the characters, and the parts of the novel which should have come across brimming with emotion just fell flat.

It's an intruguing novel and gets top marks for originality, but I didn't like the style in which it was written.


  1. Agree with you (again!) this book was very disappointing and not a patch on The Time Traveler's Wife, which probably rates as one of my favourite books. This was totally unbelievable and I didn't particularly like or identify with any of the characters. By the end, I was almost laughing - it all got so stupid!!

  2. I think the bit written from the POV of the dead kitten was what finished me off.