Friday, October 8, 2010

2010 Book 18 - Her Fearful Symmetry

The latest book that I've completed is Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger. Before I start on my review here is what is written on the back cover:
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 found this to be a great novel. I really enjoyed it, especially at this time of year as we approach Halloween. Admittedly, there are parts that were disturbing to me and I found the way things wrapped up to be a little off-putting. But, all in all, great book and a very easy read. This is one that I would certainly recommend to others to read, if you are looking for a unique look at the relationship between sisters.

By the way, Audrey Niffenegger is the author of The Time Traveler's Wife, which I also really enjoyed even though if I recall correctly, it also wrapped up strangely and a little off-putting.