Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

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Synopsis

Audrey Niffenegger's spectacularly compelling second novel set in and around Highgate Cemetery in London.
 

About Audrey Niffenegger

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Audrey Niffenegger is a visual artist and a guide at Highgate Cemetery. In addition to her bestselling novels, The Time Traveler’s Wife and Her Fearful Symmetry, she is the author of two illustrated novels, The Three Incestuous Sisters and The Adventuress. She lives in Chicago.
 
Published September 22, 2009 by Scribner. 418 pages
Genres: Horror, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Romance, Action & Adventure. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Her Fearful Symmetry

Kirkus Reviews

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Elspeth has expired at 44 of cancer, leaving her younger lover and neighbor Robert bereft and obsessed with her memory.

Aug 15 2009 | Read Full Review of Her Fearful Symmetry

The New York Times

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Time and the supernatural are at the center of Audrey Niffenegger’s new novel, an entertaining but not terribly resonant ghost story about two generations of twins.

Sep 22 2009 | Read Full Review of Her Fearful Symmetry

The New York Times

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In this intricate exploration of love, identity and obsession, a woman buried in Highgate Cemetery haunts the London flat she has left to the twin daughters of her own estranged twin.

Sep 27 2009 | Read Full Review of Her Fearful Symmetry

The Guardian

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The twins are the daughters of Elspeth's twin sister, Edie, from whom she was estranged, and they bring their own ethereal qualities to the odd community that gathers around the cemetery: they dress identically in little-girl dresses and white tights, and are "mirror-twins", identical but reversed.

Oct 04 2009 | Read Full Review of Her Fearful Symmetry

The Guardian

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Like Henry David Thoreau, Audrey Niffenegger seems to view time as but the stream in which her characters go a'fishing.

Oct 10 2009 | Read Full Review of Her Fearful Symmetry

BC Books

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Twins. Cemeteries. Ghosts. Lovely and engaging writing. If any of these things sound interesting, yo...

Sep 27 2009 | Read Full Review of Her Fearful Symmetry

BC Books

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At times curious about the girls and at times jealous, Elspeth quickly reveals herself to be a horrid shrew who was not to be trusted in life and definitely not in the afterlife.

Dec 09 2009 | Read Full Review of Her Fearful Symmetry

BC Books

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Elspeth had an identical twin sister, Edie, whom she had not seen since shortly after Edie ran off to America with Elspeth's fiance, Jack Poole.

Sep 27 2009 | Read Full Review of Her Fearful Symmetry

Book Reporter

Martin, the twins’ upstairs neighbor, waits in vain for his wife Marijke to return, Robert desperately wants Elspeth back, Julia never wants to be apart from Valentina, and Valentina wants nothing more than to have a life of her own.

Apr 27 2011 | Read Full Review of Her Fearful Symmetry

AV Club

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The long-awaited second novel from the author of The Time Traveler's Wife delves into obsession via a texting ghost.

Oct 01 2009 | Read Full Review of Her Fearful Symmetry

AV Club

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While her fiction debut, The Time Traveler’s Wife, switched between the perspectives of two main characters, Her Fearful Symmetry takes an omniscient view, delving into the thoughts and lives of all the residents of an apartment building bordering London’s Highgate Cemetery.

Oct 01 2009 | Read Full Review of Her Fearful Symmetry

Los Angeles Times

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The author of 'The Time Traveler's Wife' returns with a story of twin sisters who inherit a deceased aunt's haunting legacy.

Sep 29 2009 | Read Full Review of Her Fearful Symmetry

The Washington Post

As the story opens, two college dropouts, identical twins Julia and Valentina Poole, have inherited an apartment in London and several million pounds from an aunt they never met, their mother's identical twin, Elspeth.

Sep 30 2009 | Read Full Review of Her Fearful Symmetry

The Telegraph

Valentina’s plot to escape from her twin supposes that she is feeling .

Oct 19 2009 | Read Full Review of Her Fearful Symmetry

Suite 101

Elspeth Noblin dies leaving her flat and her possessions to her twin nieces, Julia and Valentina but as with all legacies, this one comes with conditions.

May 27 2012 | Read Full Review of Her Fearful Symmetry

The Bookbag

Another of my favourite books, Ian McEwan's Atonement, also features twins, albeit in a more minor role (and also shares the distinction of the book being better than the movie).

Feb 19 2011 | Read Full Review of Her Fearful Symmetry

Pajiba

Unfortunately, it is her adeptness at creating such "knowable" characters that undoes the end of the novel, for when these characters do the utterly nonsensical without precedent, the novel's twists and turns feel heavy and unnecessary.

Oct 15 2009 | Read Full Review of Her Fearful Symmetry

About.com Bestsellers

She also experiences a strange connection with her aunt, which is further solidified when the twins discover that their aunt's ghost is living in the apartment.

Jan 12 2013 | Read Full Review of Her Fearful Symmetry

Fantasy Literature

Shortly before her death, Elspeth wrote to her twin sister Edie, who lives in America, and informed her she is leaving her flat and all her possessions to Edie’s twenty-year-old twin daughters, Julia and Valentina Poole.

Feb 21 2015 | Read Full Review of Her Fearful Symmetry

Reader Rating for Her Fearful Symmetry
54%

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