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Amazon Best of the Month, September 2009: Following her breakout bestseller, The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger returns with Her Fearful Symmetry, a haunting tale about the complications of love, identity, and sibling rivalry. The novel opens with the death of Elspeth Noblin, who bequeaths her London flat and its contents to the twin daughters of her estranged twin sister back in Chicago. These 20-year-old dilettantes, Julie and Valentina, move to London, eager to try on a new experience like one of their obsessively matched outfits. Historic Highgate Cemetery, which borders Elspeth's home, serves as an inspired setting as the twins become entwined in the lives of their neighbors: Elspeth's former lover, Robert; Martin, an agoraphobic crossword-puzzle creator; and the ethereal Elspeth herself, struggling to adjust to the afterlife. Niffenegger brings these quirky, troubled characters to marvelous life, but readers may need their own supernatural suspension of disbelief as the story winds to its twisty conclusion. --Brad Thomas Parsons
Niffenegger follows up her spectacular The Time Traveler's Wife with a beautifully written if incoherent ghost story. When Elspeth Noblin dies, she leaves everything to the 20-year-old American twin daughters of her own long-estranged twin, Edie. Valentina and Julia, as enmeshed as Elspeth and Edie once were, move into Elspeth's London flat bordering Highgate Cemetery in a building occupied by Elspeth's lover, Robert, and the novel's most interesting character, Martin, whose wife is long suffering due to his crushing and beautifully portrayed OCD. The girls are pallid and incurious; they wander around London and spend time with Robert and Martin and Elspeth's ghost. Valentina's developing relationship with Robert arouses mild jealousy, and when Valentina pursues her interest in fashion design, Julia disapproves, which leads Valentina and Elspeth to concoct an extreme plan to allow Valentina to lead her own life. The plan, unsurprisingly, goes awry, followed by weakly foreshadowed and confusing twists that take the plot from dull to silly. While Niffenegger's gifted prose and past success will garner readers, the story is a disappointment.
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Come on now all you reviewers that gave this book less than 5 stars. . You loved Time Travelers Wife didn't you? This book is as unpredictable as that one. It's a ghost story! Read morePublished 14 days ago by Cathy B.
Excellently written, very good descriptions of places, and characters very strongly developed. The basic premise becomes increasingly challenging as the plotline unfolds, which... Read morePublished 1 month ago by B F Mulligan
Argh, had such high hopes for this book.... as I started reading it and spent several nights turning pages, I began to love it. Then..... Read morePublished 1 month ago by susan
Its been a couple of years since I bought and read this book and I still think about it. Very imaginative. Read morePublished 2 months ago by booklover
As short as I can make this and, unfortunately, not so sweet... This book angered me and was so depressing. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Grace1120
People complained that this book wasn't as good as the Time Traveler's Wife, which I consider one of my favorite books. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Jessica Egirl
This is one of those books. The writing is enough to compel you to read through to the end, but when you get to the end you say, Huh? What was all that? Read morePublished 2 months ago by Barbara Mcauliffe
I was disappointed with this book. I did not let the author's other book influence my opinion and I didn't compare them. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Barbara