I had enjoyed Audrey Niffenegger’s first book, “The Time Traveler’s Wife”, and was looking forward to her newest novel, “Her Fearful Symmetry.” Moody and atmospheric, it has ghostly elements, but unravels about two thirds of the way through.
Set in modern day London, the story follows the lives of twenty year old identical twins, Julia and Valentina. The young women have inherited a flat in London from their Aunt Elspeth, and the building backs up to Highgate Cemetery, a centuries old burying ground. Their mother and Elspeth, also twins, were estranged, under mysterious circumstances never revealed to the girls by their mother. 30-something graduate student Robert, who also has a flat in the building, was Elspeth’s lover, and is a tour guide at Highgate Cemetery. Niffenegger obviously has a fondness for London and its history, and setting is a strength of the book.
I think this would be a good choice for book groups, since it could lend itself to some lively discussion. Readers seem to have strong feelings both ways- why not take a chance and see which camp you fall into?
Her Fearful Symmetry: a novel