Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

From the Amazon product description: When Elspeth Noblin dies of cancer, she leaves her London apartment to her twin nieces, Julia and Valentina. These two American girls never met their English aunt, only knew that their mother, too, was a twin, and Elspeth her sister. Julia and Valentina are semi-normal American teenagers--with seemingly little interest in college, finding jobs, or anything outside their cozy home in the suburbs of Chicago, and with an abnormally intense attachment to one another. The girls move to Elspeth's flat, which borders Highgate Cemetery in London. 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; Marjike, 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.

This book just sucked me right in and I looked forward to getting into the car each day and returning to the story. I liked the characters with all their English eccentricities and American quirks. I liked how the relationships developed and how the story unfolded. The "big twist" was always a possibility in the back of my mind and that feeling of dread waiting for it to happen just seemed to go along well with the creepy feeling of the whole ghostly situation. I think I had two big advantages going in - 1.) I haven’t read The Time Traveler's Wife so I wasn't weighed down by huge expectations from that hit and 2.) I listened to this on audio narrated by Bianca Amato, who had a lovely voice with a great set of accents to bring the characters to life. The ending was a mix for me, some characters were left up in the air so that was unsatisfying. Others, though, were dealt with in ways so unexpected but delightful that it all kind of balanced out.

This book counts toward the 2010 Audiobook Challenge hosted by the bloggers over at Royal Reviews. Click on the button to see my progress.

1 comment:

Rebecca :) said...

Nice review. You seemed to like it better than I did. I did not read TTTW either, but I did have expectations going in so that had something to do with it.