Like Henry David Thoreau, Audrey Niffenegger seems to view time as but the stream in which her characters go a’fishing. Her enormously. Audrey Niffenegger makes the most of Highgate in a bewitching new novel, “Her Fearful Symmetry,” which proves that death (as one currently. Her Fearful Symmetry, Niffenegger’s follow-up to her time-hopping best seller, is a Victorian ghost story set in the present that’s more in tune.

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When Elspeth was engaged to Jack an American working in London at the timeshe was insecure about his love for her so she started pretending to be Edie and made advances toward Jack to test him. Having not read the earlier work, I was spared such expectations, so comparisons were not possible.

Audrey Niffenegger on Her Ghostly New Novel

There were only three truly Gothic aspects of this novel and all were totally wasted. View all 6 comments. Valentina has asthma and has a heart valve that hasn’t been properly formed, making her slightly ill. But I sure hope not.

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

As a result, she ends up blowing the television completely. She makes the fantastical audrrey real, and her characters so clear, that how her characters react is completely understandable. Later, Julia goes upstairs because she hears footsteps; Martin had just left a few days ago to meet Marijke in Amsterdam and they live there now.

I didn’t like it. The twins are Americans, having lived in Illinois with their mother, Edwina, who is Elspeth’s twin sister.

And in my opinion, better than TTW. In her long-awaited second novel, Her Fearful SymmetryNiffenegger angles in time’s stream once again, fishing for meaning. There were some questions that I found unanswered as I read this book though, and one was, why only Valentina could see Elspeth’s ghost eventuallyor even sense it, while the rest could only feel the coldness of her touch. Another is to abandon yourself to lostness, to allow the fact that you’ve misplaced yourself to change the way you experience the world.


Julia befriends Martin and secretly begins giving him Anafranil a pill for OCDpretending that it is a vitamin. Return to Book Page. Another huge element of this book is the relationship between lovers. Monday 31 December View all 27 comments. Considering the setting of the novel, some critics have also pointed out a potential verbal pun in the novel’s title, since in received pronunciation “symmetry” and “cemetery” are almost homophonous.

This was difficult to put down but I deliberately tried to read slowly beause it was such a pleasure to read. As always, I like Niffenger’s writing style. What would you do if you had an overbearing, bossy twin sister whom you needed to get away from??

The audret is set around Highgate Cemetery in London where a recently dead Elspeth has left her appartment to her twenty audreg old American nieces, Julia and Valentina, who are mirror twins. This book is excellent on so many different layers and levels, my head is still considering them all. In particular, the title, ger I puzzled over for the vast majority of the book, became completely clear in the end. Robert realizes that Elspeth is manipulative and always gets her way and that brings harsh feelings among the family.

In order to nifenegger his story with the twins whose aunt dies, Niffenegger expediently places the aunt in the flat below Martin’s in Highgate, overlooking the cemetery. Is there a type of book you tend toward in a bookstore? Not so much with Her Fearful Symmetry. Am I supposed to like her or hate her?

I definitely wanted to ground my story in all the stuff that had come before. A decision that’s akin to burning down your house to get rid of all the dust rather than just picking up a dust rag. Overall, I enjoyed it because it’s one of those stories that fearfyl with you after you’ve finished the last page.


Elsbeth the ghost can occupy the normal amount of space a regular person might occupy, but she can also squeeze into a locked drawer to sulk qudrey days if she would like. Niffenegger’s rendering of OCD is the most painful and seemingly realistic depiction that I’ve come across. They’re almost ghostlike in their exploration of London and the flat which turns symemtry to be haunted by the real ghost of their aunt Elsbeth.

Her Fearful Symmetry – Wikipedia

This is a very tricky book to review. So the gorgeous European cemeteries have their own problems.

Julia even points out that “American” may be a euphemism for “rude,” so it seems that Niffenegger was conscious of how straightforward all the characters were, but it seems that perhaps she couldn’t help herself and had to use this sort heg brashness to progress the plot and explain some of the intricacies. Perhaps I’m a little biased, but I think I’ll go re-read A Fine and Private Place to cleanse my palate and remind myself of what a good ghost story can be like.

I doubt I would sanely accept someone telling me that. His problem is so intense that Marjike, his wife of 25 years has finally had enough and has moved back to the Netherlands.

Her Fearful Symmetry

This book was full of really absurd people doing really absurd things. Attempting to tell a haunting ghost story about niffeegger and history with metaphysical overtones, all she manages is theosophy.

An apartment building full of people who can’t move on with their lives but at least in the end they do.