Anna Karras's Reviews > Her Fearful Symmetry

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
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's review
Dec 15, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: fiction, ghosts

I loved, loved, loved The Time Traveler's Wife, and so I was very excited to hear Audrey Niffenegger was coming out with a new book. I was the first one to pinch a copy at the library.

Her Fearful Symmetry is the story of two sets of twins - Edie and Elspeth, and Edie's twins Julia and Valentina. Edie and Elspeth haven't spoken in years, and the younger set has never met their aunt. When Elspeth dies in London, she leaves all her worldly good to her nieces with the condition that neither of their parents are ever allowed to set foot in her flat, and that they must move from Michigan to live in it for a year.

Julia and Valentina are drifting through life without a purpose or direction. Valentina loves sewing and making clothes, but Julia, the dominant twin, won't let Valentina pursue a fashion career independently. This makes for increasingly strained relations between the younger twins.

Add to this the ghost of Elspeth that is haunting their new London flat. At first, they sense something amiss. But as Elspeth grows in her abilities to manipulate the physical world, Valentina begins to recognize who is haunting them.

It was an interesting story, but I felt that it fell a little flat. I was hoping for more spookiness. It felt a little mundane to me. I also felt that the story dragged on a bit. The end was good but maybe a bit too much of a plot twist to make a real literary novel.
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