Sunday, May 20, 2012

Audrey Niffenegger - Her Fearful Symmetry

42. Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger (2009)
Length: 406 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 16 May 2012
Finished: 20 May 2012
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 29 February 2012
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction with a bit of a supernatural flavor to it and Audrey Niffenegger is a new author for me.

Upon Elspeth Noblin's death from cancer, she leaves her London apartment to her American twin neices, Julia and Valentina. The girls had never actually met their English aunt, only knew of her as their mother's twin sister. Julia and Valentina are semi-normal American teenagers - with seemingly little or no interest in going to college, finding jobs, or anything outside of their cozy suburban Chicago home, and with an abnormally intense attachment to each other. The girls move into Elspeth's flat - which borders London's Highgate Cemetery - under the understanding that they must live in the apartment for one year before they can sell it, and their parents cannot enter the apartment.

As the twins embark on this new, adventurous chapter in their lives, 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. Majike, Martin's devoted but trapped wife; and Robert, Elspeth's elusive lover; a scholar of the cemetery. As the girls become embroiled in the fraying lives of their aunt's neighbors, they also discover that much is still alive in Highgate, including - perhaps - their aunt, who can't seem to leave her old apartment and life behind.

I was somewhat undecided about whether or not I wanted to read this book. I generally love horror and books that have a tinge of the supernatural about them; however, I also have discovered this about myself: I just can't concentrate in order to read extremely long books. By this I mean, books of about 400 pages onwards, are somewhat daunting for me to begin. This book was unusual from the beginning: I wouldn't classify it as strictly horror - it's too gentle for that - perhaps Contemporary Paranormal Mystery, if there even is a particular genre called that? :)

I did find that the book was rather lengthy but overall I enjoyed it and give it a strong A! For those of you who've read Ms. Niffenegger's debut novel, The Time Traveler's Wife, and enjoyed that book, you might enjoy this as well as it was her second book written six years later. I started reading Ms. Niffenegger's work with Her Fearful Symmetry and am just curious: should I backtrack and read The Time Traveler's Wife some time? Or am I fine having read this book and enjoying it as I have?

A! - (90-95%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

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