Thursday 27 January 2011

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffeneger

So with all these challenges I'm taking part in, plus my massive TBR stack, I managed to find this - a book which is neither part of a challenge, nor part of my TBR stack. It was new, somebody gave me a Waterstones card, what could I do??

Anyway! I'm glad that I read it.

I'm starting to wish I could read something I hate. I feel that I'm becoming monotonous in my unequivocal love of everything that I read lately. However, having said that, I really did love this book.

The quote on the front claims that the book is 'dark and delicious', and it really, really is. The first few chapters of the book felt like it was going to be one of those emotional drama, human interest stories, about people fulfilling their dreams and discovering themselves, which I normally love so much. But then it changed, and became an awesome ghost story, and the focus shifted

All of the characters in this novel are damaged. The primary characters are two sets of twins: Edwina and Elspeth, and Julia and Valentina. Julia and Valentina are mirror image twins, meaning Valentina's internal organs are all reversed, and her heart is on the opposite side of her body. For me, the most interesting thing was the way that NIffeneger explored how the twins' physical charactersistics affected their emotional ones. The other thing which made me fall in love a little bit, was the books' setting in Highgate Cemetery.
To be honest, this may just be the fact that I'm a Londoner who's recently relocated, and is having pangs of nostalgia and homesickness, but whatever it is, I wallowed in it!
Her Fearful Symmetry was much, much more than I expected it to be, and I really didn't want it to end: it was a delicious novel.

Rating: *****


  1. I've picked this one up a few times but I didn't really enjoy The Time Travellers Wife so I don't know if I would enjoy this?

  2. If you didnt enjoy the time travellers wife,chances arre you probably wont like this one,although it is less weird than time traveller's... It really depends how you feel about ghost stories,more than anything,cos thats pretty much what it is!

  3. I thought this book was OK; I liked Time Traveler's Wife more. But this definitely was quirky! Most people I know loved TTW but hated this one.

  4. That's really interesting.i can kind of see why TTW would be more popular,as I guess in lots of ways its a simpler concept.if i'm totally honest, I read TTW years ago,and apart from that I loved it,i really don't remember too much about it!i've not yet seen the film,but a lot of people I know say it was really odd...

  5. I think people who loved TTW & didn't like HFS couldn't help but have high expectations since TTW was so well-received. They are very different books for sure. I much preferred TTW but this was a good follow-up. Glad you liked it, too :)

  6. I have never considered reading The Time Traveller's Wife but am more intrigued by this one - shall add it to the list I think ;)

  7. I had no desire to read The Time Traveller's Wife, despite the acclaim it received, but I absolutely loved this one!

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