Her Fearful Symmetry
Author: Audrey Niffenegger [Website][Facebook][Twitter]
Length: 401 pages
Obtained: Library book kit copy
Why this book?:
It was for my book discussion group.
Note: I read the print and ebook editions of this book.
I didn't know what to expect from this book. I knew The Time Traveler's Wife did not sound appealing. But Audrey Niffenegger is also the author of The Night Bookmobile, which was a strange, but interesting read.
Apparently strange is a common theme of Niffenegger's work, because this one fits that description as well. Twins live across an ocean - one in the U.S., one in England. The one in the U.S. is raising twins of her own. England twin dies and stipulates that young twins live in her flat in London to fulfill the terms of her will. Sound confusing? Or complicated? It does have that feel.
We have twins, secrets, cemeteries, ghosts, obsession. Creepy, strange, and weird all have their place. I don't want to give away to much of the story, so instead...
I tend to be more of an audible reader than a visual one. I hear my
books more than seeing them. But this one had a definite picture. Not
to the words themselves, but the feel. Imagine you're on a walk. It isn't quite night, but it's no longer day. It's foggy and gray and quiet. You're approaching winter - no snow, but the trees are bare. A fallen twig might snap, a flock of birds might startle, but otherwise everything is still.
That's kind of how I felt as I read the book. Like I was taking that walk through the story.
Anyway, I didn't like many of the choices made. Some actions made me downright furious, in fact. Some of the characters showed such little respect for life. And so little thought for anyone outside of him/herself. But the cemetery sounds cool, I'd love to visit. And I'd love to have enough time in London to wander and get around without maps. Hard to do when you've only been there little more than a day. So the book left me with mixed feelings. I enjoyed the setting and the atmosphere. Not so much many of the characters.
Whether or not I'll read more by Niffenegger... we'll see how it goes.