Saturday, December 30, 2017

Her Fearful Symmetry - A Book Review

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I think I must be the last person on earth who has yet to read The Time Traveller's Wife (or to see the movie), but I did know the author was Audrey Niffenegger so when I saw another of her books I thought I'd have a read.   I'm very glad I did!

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger is unlike any other book I've read, it's not a can't put it up kind of book, but it's nonetheless a really good read and very thought provoking.

Have you ever wondered whether ghosts have to learn to be ghosts?   Funnily enough that idea was written so well that it just made sense to me.

The teaser to the book that I read said.....

Take mirror twins, a man with OCD and a ghost and what do you get?
I'm not sure what it was about that statement but I was sold.  The mirror twins in question are Valentina and Julia Poole, the ghost is the twin's estranged aunt who they haven't seen since they were babies and the man with OCD is an upstairs neighbor of their aunt.

A Riveting Tale of Obsession & Love

A Review of Her Fearful Symmetry, Don't Worry There's No Spoilers!


Her Fearful Symmetry is all about obsession, love and the urge to control.  Audrey Niffenegger's  novel begins with one of the central characters dying. This in itself is nothing new, but what is new in this novel is that this particular character 'stars' as a ghost.

Following on from her hugely successful debut novel - The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger stays in the realm of the supernatural with this ghost story. The main character is a ghost who has been estranged from her twin sister for years and decides to leave her flat and money to her twin nieces who she has only met once when they were babies.

Now nothing is ever that straight forward in books so of course this inheritance comes with a clause - the twins, Julia and Valentina Poole must live in her flat for a year. The flat in question borders on a famous London cemetery - Highgate Cemetery.

While she was researching this book Audrey Niffenegger actually worked as a volunteer at London's famous Highgate Cemetery and a great facet to this book is the little snippets of trivia about the cemetery that she sprinkles throughout the book.

There are some complex emotions in the book and it poses some interesting questions such as - do ghosts really have to learn to be ghosts? An incident that occurs later in the book can really give you goosebumps and wondering if that sort of thing could really happen!




In all this was an interesting book and I enjoyed it, but I was rather deflated with the ending. There was a perfect place for the book to end, but when the story continued I felt I wasn't satisfied because I then wanted to know what else happened.

Would I read it again?  Absolutely, because I am sure that I would 'discover' more things that I had missed on my first reading.

Would I recommend starting it knowing that you don't have time to finish it in one sitting?  Yes, it was one that I definitely wanted to finish, but it was a book that I put up a couple of times to go and do things.......things that I could probably have postponed if I'd been reading a real 'can't put down' book.



Now I know that sometimes the last thing you want to read is a thought provoking suspense book, we had days when we just want to curl up with some historical romance or a cozy mystery etc.  Well don't worry we have reviewed countless books in different genres so please check them out - our book reviews.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article.

4 comments:

  1. Oh, what fun. I like books with a ghost in it and this aunt sounds like a splendid ghost. I'd live in a ghosts' flat (even next to a cemetery) for a year to receive an inheritance! And I wouldn't mind meeting the ghost! This book sounds like a must read for me! Thanks for the review, Louanne.

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  2. It sounds like a great book to read to "get my scare on" one of these upcoming cold days. I admit, I am a little bit fascinated and scared of ghosts. Very intriguing review for sure. I might just stop reading when I get to the point that I think it is a good ending :)

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  3. Filling up my iPad with reading material while I'm in Jamaica next week.....oh looking forward to a great read on the beach! Thanks Louanne, it has been borrowed!

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  4. Sounds interesting! I'll put it on my wish list for when I have more time to read.

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