Sunday, January 03, 2010

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger is a new and unique twist on a typical ghost story. The story begins with the death of Elspeth, who is involved with Robert, a graduate student living in the apartment downstairs from her. Elspeth is estranged from her sister, Edie. Edie has two twin daughters, Julia and Valentina, who have been left Elspeth's apartment in London; but only on the condition that they live in it for one year before they sell it and they must not let their parents enter the premises. When the girls arrive in London they meet a colourful cast of characters: Martin who suffers from OCD and whose wife has recently left him, and Robert, Elspeth's former lover who works in the cemetery across the street. As the story unfolds, Elspeth returns to her apartment as a ghost and the lives of those living in the apartment become deeply entangled.

I found this book extraordinarily interesting and readable. The novel changes points of view to include most of the major characters. Each character had a distinct voice and poignant emotions that pulled the reader deep into the story. The reader always feels connected to each character and sympathetic to their problems. There are several big twists in the story, always shocking and unexpected. Niffenegger writes stunningly as she did in The Time Traveller's Wife. Fans of that novel will most certainly enjoy this one as, while the plot is very different (although just as unique), has the same feel to the writing. The reader feels as if they happen to live in the same apartment building as the cast of the story and are right there in London, experiencing everything. The London that Niffenegger describes is vivid and real. I highly recommend this novel to both lovers of realistic fiction and fantasy. It is excellently written and thoroughly enjoyable. A must read for any reader.

While there is no explicit content, the novel deals with some mature topics.

Reviewer Age:17
Reviewer City, State and Country: San Diego, California USA