Thursday, 10 December 2009

Review:- Audrey NIFFENEGGER – “Her Fearful Symmetry”

Publ: 2009
Pensby Library
ISBN: 9780224085618
Genre: General
Pages: 390p
Ordered from library because I loved the Time Traveller’s Wife
Rating: ***** *****

What led you to pick up this book?
The Time Traveller’s Wife was one of my favourite books of recent years so I had to read Niffenegger’s latest.

Describe the plot without giving anything away.
Six years after the phenomenal success of The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger has returned with a spectacularly compelling and haunting second novel set in and around Highgate Cemetery in London.

When Elspeth Noblin dies of cancer, she leaves her London apartment to her twin nieces, Julia and Valentina. These two American girls never met their English aunt, only knew that their mother, too, was a twin, and Elspeth her sister. Julia and Valentina are semi-normal American teenagers -- with seemingly little interest in college, finding jobs, or anything outside their cozy home in the suburbs of Chicago, and with an abnormally intense attachment to one another.

The girls move to Elspeth's flat, which borders Highgate Cemetery in London. They come to know the building's other residents. There is Martin, a brilliant and charming crossword puzzle setter suffering from crippling Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; Marjike, Martin's devoted but trapped wife; and Robert, Elspeth's elusive lover, a scholar of the cemetery. The girls become embroiled in the fraying lives of their aunt's neighbours and I musn’t tell you more...

What did you think of the characters and style?
The characters are all brilliantly described in vivid detail. They are so believable. The style –as I anticipated – was wonderful with constant interaction between the characters and plenty of thrills, excitement and romance.

What did you like most about the book?
Never knowing how it might end.

Was there anything you didn't like about the book?

Thoughts on the book jacket / cover.
Very pleasant and appropriate but see my grump about stickers tomorrow...

Would I recommend it?

Audrey Niffenegger was born in 1969 in the USA. debut novel sold nearly 5 million copies worldwide and has been translated into thirty-three languages to date. She is also a widely exhibited artist. She lives in Chicago.

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