Sunday, September 26, 2010

Her Fearful Symmetry

Read September 2010

My rating - 2.5 out of 5

"When Elspeth Noblin dies of cancer, she leaves her London apartment to her twin nieces, Julia and Valentina. These two American girls never met their English aunt, only knew that their mother, too, was a twin, and Elspeth her sister. Julia and Valentina are semi-normal American teenagers--with seemingly little interest in college, finding jobs, or anything outside their cozy home in the suburbs of Chicago, and with an abnormally intense attachment to one another.

The girls move to Elspeth's flat, which borders Highgate Cemetery in London. They come to know the building's other residents. There is Martin, a brilliant and charming crossword puzzle setter suffering from crippling Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; Marjike, Martin's devoted but trapped wife; and Robert, Elspeth's elusive lover, a scholar of the cemetery. As the girls become embroiled in the fraying lives of their aunt's neighbors, they also discover that much is still alive in Highgate, including--perhaps--their aunt, who can't seem to leave her old apartment and life behind.

Niffenegger weaves a captivating story in Her Fearful Symmetry about love and identity, about secrets and sisterhood, and about the tenacity of life--even after death."

My review: {be warned, this review will contain spoilers} Where to start with this book.... I read the reviews online, and most people were very disappointed with this novel. However most people who read this book, read the Time Traveler's Wife beforehand, and were all comparing the two novels. I think many people who read this book had high expectations because of Time Traveler's Wife, so I decided to give it a shot, as I have not read the Time Traveler's Wife yet. It started off really well, and I was enjoying the story. Most other people claimed that they did not like the characters, and at the beginning of the novel I had liked all the characters, and I liked where the story was going, therefor at the beginning of the novel, my rating most likely would have been a 5. About half way through, I thought it was getting a little strange, as there was a ghost involved, and Robert started dating Valentina, who was not only much too young for him in my opinion, but was also his deceased lover (the ghost's) niece (which later turns out to be her daughter.) So at that point of the novel, my review started going downhill, as I didn't agree with that relationship. I looked past the relationship, and then the ghost got unbelievable. I've read novels with ghosts before and I enjoyed them, but this was getting out of hand. I started to hate all the characters for many different reasons, but in the end, ALL of them were selfish and irritating, and immature. And at the end, I was like, really??? A ghost just killed and took over her daughters body? They stole a body from a grave after a funeral? So unbelievale, and I did not relate to this novel at all. The only part of this novel that I enjoyed, is the character named Martin; Martin lived upstairs and has serious OCD. His story was the only one I enjoyed, reading about him dealing with his disease, and slowly overcoming it for love. I really wasn't sure how to rate this novel, as I enjoyed the writing style more than some of the other novels that I have rated a 3, however I didn't enjoy the story. I wish anyone good luck who reads this novel. I hope that when I read Time Traveler's Wife, I will enjoy it, as everyone else.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you put this on here, because I've debated on reading it since I didn't know anyone who had read it. But then I read some reviews and the ones I read were all kind of indifferent. But your review makes me think I would like it so much.

    I just read Up From The Blue by Susan Henderson- I'm going to have my official review on my blog tonight but you should totally read it. :)