Boof's Reviews > Her Fearful Symmetry

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
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's review
Oct 14, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: spooky, read-in-2009, uk
Read in October, 2009

Throw a huge cemetery, a cold & wintery London, bizzare mirror twins, a ferrel kitten and a recntly dead Aunt into a pot together and the result is a wonderfully quirky, melancholoy, spooky book.

The story is set around Highgate Cemetery in London where a recently dead Elspeth has left her appartment to her twenty year old American nieces, Julia and Valentina, who are mirror twins. When the twins arrive in their new home they soon learn that they are not alone as it appears their Aunt Elspeth has never left. While it's sometimes difficult to know who to root for in this book, there is a wonderful cast of both primary and secondary characters that kept me glued to the story and there is a sense of such powerful emotions that they almost feel tangible: The twins new neighbour, Robert, was their Aunt's lover and his feelings of loss for Elspeth are painful to read at times. I felt completely absorbed in this book and I have to admit that I never saw what happened in the last 50 pages coming at all!

It is ultimately a book about love, loss and betrayal with a gothic backdrop of ghosts, cemetaries and enough twists and turns that you never feel completley comfortable.

Highly recommended.
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Reading Progress

10/05/2009 page 38
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Comments (showing 1-16 of 16) (16 new)

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message 1: by Colleen (new) - added it

Colleen Boof - I cant wait to hear what you think of this.

Boof I'm really enjoying it Colleen! Have you read it yet?

Lori I am so glad you are reading it and enjoying it, Boof! Who is your favorite character?

Boof I like Elspeth. I think she's fun! I am just up to the part with The Kitten of Death now. Oh, and this may sound weird but I also quite like Martin. Who did you like?

Lori I liked Martin alot. He was cute in a fucked up kinda way... I liked Elspeth in the beginning... when she was becoming a ghost and testing things out... but not so much later on...

Boof Oh! That makes me curiouser and curiouser.........

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Fab review, Boof. You've made me want to read it now.

message 8: by Chloe (new) - added it

Chloe I really have to know- what are mirror twins? Is that just Brit for identical twins, or did they cross over from some parallel dimension on the other side of the mirror? (which I'm convinced DO exist- I used to stay up late as a kid wondering what my mirror twin was doing)

Boof He he, I like your version better Logan, but alas no. Mirror twins are literally mirrored so if one has a beauty spot on the left of her mouth, the other will have it on the right. The same goes for internal organs - one of them will have their heart on the right. They do exist apparantly. Freaky, eh?

message 10: by Lori (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lori I had to ask my hubby when I read about them in this novel (being a paramedic and all, he confirmed it is a true medical condition.

Boof, what did you think of Elspeth as the book moved on? Was she still your favorite?

message 11: by Lori (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lori Did you hear she is writing a new novel, this time is stars a girl who is covered in hair.... Im starting to think our Audrey is obsessed with weird medical conditions!!

message 12: by Boof (new) - rated it 4 stars

Boof Lori, I fell out with Elspeth at the end. I was so sad about what she did (and I totally didn't see that coming - did you, or am I really dumb?).

message 13: by Colleen (new) - added it

Colleen Colleen wrote: "Boof - I cant wait to hear what you think of this.

no I havent read it yet, but I loved Time Traveller's Wife, and now i cant wait to read this

message 14: by Lori (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lori Boof, no -- Not dumb! I had a feeling something like what she did was coming.. she had made a comment earlier in the book that alluded to it..... but I was still pissed when it happened.

Heather Hmm, this sounds a bit like the tone of Jonathan Strange and Dr. Norrelll...? Have you read it? This is on my list to read ;)

message 16: by Boof (new) - rated it 4 stars

Boof Heather, I haven't read that one yet but I do have a copy that I'd like to pick up at some point.

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