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Her Fearful Symmetry

Her Fearful Symmetry

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Audrey Niffenegger

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  • Publisher: VINTAGE
  • Format: Paperback | 496 pages
  • Dimensions: 129mm x 198mm x 31mm | 345g
  • Publication date: 5 July 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099524171
  • ISBN 13: 9780099524175
  • Sales rank: 5,091

Product description

When Elspeth Noblin dies she leaves her beautiful flat overlooking Highgate Cemetery to her twin nieces, Julia and Valentina Poole, on the condition that their mother is never allowed to cross the threshold. But until the solicitor's letter falls through the door of their suburban American home, either Julia nor Valentina knew their aunt existed. The twins hope that in London their own, separate, lives can finally begin but they have no idea that they've been summoned into a tangle of fraying lives, from the obsessive-compulsive crossword setter who lives above them to their aunt's mysterious and elusive lover who lives below them and works in the cemetery itself. As the twins unravel the secrets of their aunt, who doesn't seem quite ready to leave her flat, even after death, Niffenegger weaves together a delicious and deadly ghost story about love, loss and identity.

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Author information

Audrey Niffenegger is an exceptionally creative writer and visual artist who has achieved enormous success in both worlds. Her debut novel, The Time Traveler's Wife, has sold nearly five million copies worldwide and has been translated into thirty-three languages to date. A Richard & Judy book club choice in the UK, it has been a huge bestseller all round the world. In the Daily Telegraph's readers' poll of the 'Top 50 Books of All Time' it appeared at no. 11. Niffenegger is also the author of two 'novels-in-pictures', The Three Incestuous Sisters(2005) and The Adventuress (2006), both published by Cape. Her graphic novel The Night Bookmobile was serialized in the Guardian and published on the Cape Graphic list. A Chicago native, Niffenegger received her MFA in Printmaking and Drawing from Northwestern University. Her art has been widely exhibited in the United States and is in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress and Harvard University's Houghton Library.

Customer reviews

By A. van der Helm 22 Nov 2012 5

It sucks you in and won't let you go until you've finished reading the last page. Even then, you want more. Don't expect to get up and do the groceries before you reach the end. Brushing your teeth while reading? Perfectly doable. Open this book at your own risk (and don't forget to drink some tea, coffee, water, hydration of choice)

What you get, is a great mix of ghost story, romantic drama and coming-of-age. The separate elements have been put together to form a fantastic modern day story which tells you that you can't always have what you want, can't always keep what you love, and that playing with ghosts might give some surprising results. You know you're reading a book written by a good storyteller when the ending manages to be completely logical, yet surprisingly unexpected.

Finally, I have to praise the author for the nauwkeurige references: I instantly recognized the Doctor Who episode described, and almost all references to The Netherlands and the fragments of Dutch language were correct. There was one little mistake in an adjective and one slightly out-dated, yet appropriate phrase.

By Laura Pocock 20 Aug 2011 5

I really enjoyed this book. It was an easy read but also kept me wanting more. Another great book by Audrey Niffenegger.

By Kylie Cantwell 06 Aug 2010 5

I read this book almost in a sitting - it was one of those beautifully written, gripping stories in which you just need to know what happens next.
It is a little slow starting, a little shocking in parts, and brilliant.
I can't wait for Audrey's next book...

Review quote

"Dark and delicious" -- Tom Adair Scotsman "What is really satisfying about this novel, like The Time Traveler's Wife, is its depiction of relationships: the process of grief, the transforming power of love" Daily Telegraph "An original, outrageous, and thoroughly enjoyable ghost story" Independent "There may be ghosts, but it's the human stories that glitter" Elle "A rich, involving novel" The Times