Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Book Review: Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger


When Elspeth Noblin dies she leaves her beautiful flat overlooking Highgate Cemetery to her twin nieces, Julia and Valentina Poole, on the condition that their mother is never allowed to cross the threshold. But until the solicitor's letter fall through the door of their suburban American home, neither Julia nor Valentina knew their aunt existed. The Twins hope that in London their own, separate, lives can finally begin but they have no idea that they have been summoned into a tangle of fraying lives, from the obsessive-compulsive crossword setter who lives above them to their aunt's mysterious and elusive lover, who lives below them and works in the cemetery itself.


As the twins unravel the secrets of their aunt, who doesn't seem quite ready to leave her flat, even after death, Niffenegger weaves together a delicious and deadly ghost story about love, loss and identity.(Goodreads)

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My Thought 
In 2010 I read The Time Traveler's Wife. I really liked it. What most of my friends said about that book are not a hype. I was little bit regret why it took three years for me to read it. The movie was not disappointing as well. Not only awed me, The Time Traveler's Wife also made me want to read another book that was written by Audrey Niffenegger. I was so happy when Her Fearful Symmetry was on my desk.

In the beginning, its ghost story bound me with mystery. It started with Elspeth Noblin with her last will. What the heck happened in the past? Why Elspeth did not allow Edie, her twin sister, to step into her flat? Such questions crossed my mind.

It needs more than half of book to finally find out the answers. Although it kept me waiting, no complaint about that. In its few first chapters, Her Fearful Symmetry has told me that all things inside occurred in a slow pace. So let me warn you, this is not a kind of book for anyone who fond of quick plot. The readers need to wait a little bit longer till they reveal everything.

Boring? Not really. Each chapter had something that kept attract my attentions. I also got no problem with the point of view that changed each chapters. So why I only give this book three stars? It's all because of the characters. I barely feel waves of emotions. Neither Elspeth - Edie, Julia - Valentina nor Robert-Martin-Marijke.  The most annoying one was Elspeth. She was a greedy woman. How could she do that nasty things. Especially to the Little Kitten of Death and her own "niece".  She might not feel enough with what she had before. She became so blind.  I felt so bad. It was just not fair. Something weird was no objection at all.

One thing that also bugged me was all chapters which brought me to Martin and Marijke, the twin's neighbor. I liked all their parts. But everything was still in the track even they were not there. I think Ms Niffenegger should make another book about them.

Another character that made me scowl was Robert ,Elspeth's lover. I just did not get why he had to hide from Valentina and Julia. I also did not like when deeper relationship was built between Robert and one of the twins. He supposed to be their uncle. Not the one who offered the romance stuff. But I was glad with what he did in the end.

About the twins, I felt sorry for them. They did not get any role the twins should have. No tight bonds like what another twins had. They were not a normal twins. Julia got all my sympathy. Because she had to face all those lies and rejection. For Valentina, all I could say is HAH!.

Final words, Reading Her Fearful Symmetry makes me wonder where Audrey Niffenegger who has written The Time Traveller's Wife. It seems none of her magical touches left.

Cover 
I found many kind of cover for this book. The Vintage version is one of my favorite. I liked the colors

Her Fearful Symmetry
Author: Audrey Niffenegger
Publisher: Vintage, 2010
Paperback: 488 pahes
ISBN: 0099524171
Language: English


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PS: Although I do not put this book into my favorite list, I'd love to say many thanks to Annisa Anggiana, my secret santa. She was the one who sent me the book. I am so grateful. She helps a lot in killing one of my curiosities. *big hugs*