Title : Her Fearful Symmetry
Author : Audrey Niffenegger
Genre : Mystery, Psychological
My rating : 4.5/5
Julia and Valentina Poole are twenty-year-old sisters with an intense attachment to each other. One morning the mailman delivers a thick envelope to their house in the suburbs of Chicago. Their English aunt Elspeth Noblin has died of cancer and left them her London apartment. There are two conditions for this inheritance: that they live in the flat for a year before they sell it and that their parents not enter it. Julia and Valentina are twins. So were the girls’ aunt Elspeth and their mother, Edie.
The girls move to Elspeth’s flat, which borders the vast Highgate Cemetery, where Christina Rossetti, George Eliot, Stella Gibbons, and other luminaries are buried. Julia and Valentina become involved with their living neighbors: Martin, a composer of crossword puzzles who suffers from crippling OCD, and Robert, Elspeth’s elusive lover, a scholar of the cemetery. They also discover that much is still alive in Highgate, including—perhaps—their aunt.
I think this book is one of those unique books that may or may not be able to catch a vast amount of readers considering its theme and story. For me though, I was immediately drawn by the story and characters. But I need to warn you also that it succeeded in making me feel depressed quite significantly. It's very emotional for me. I totally feel for the characters, I feel with them, I got depressed, distressed, in suspense, panic, angered oh wrathfully angered... So you can see, if you in need of a cheerful and pleasing story, my advise : don't choose Her Fearful Symmetry (HFS). But, if you want to broaden your emotional understanding, your knowledge about relationship between twins, a unique story, a literary experience, then by all means.. choose HFS. I didn't give it 5 stars coz this is one book I most probably won't ever read again. It's just too overwhelming for me, once is enough. So I gave it 4.5 stars.
I really want to visit Highgate Cemetery because of it. I confessed that I haven't read The Time Traveller's Wife (I know, you'd probably say Whaaaat!?) but hey, I watched the movie and the book is definitely in my reading list. So I know that HFS will be good, though my sister was the one who bought it. I like Niffenegger's writing style and her character portrayal, vivid and real, but I think the snippets of Highgate Cemetery's history are also very interesting. The plot itself is unique and deep and filled with twists and turns that surprised me. The only drawback or perhaps advantage is its emotional aka depressing. Hahahaha... but my advise: take a chance with HFS, you won't regret it!
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