- Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd
- Format: Hardback | 400 pages
- Dimensions: 163mm x 231mm x 38mm | 431g
- Publication date: 1 October 2009
- Publication City/Country: London
- ISBN 10: 0224085611
- ISBN 13: 9780224085618
- Sales rank: 21,324
At last - another brilliant, original and moving novel from the author of "The Time Traveler's Wife". Julia and Valentina Poole are normal American teenagers - normal, at least, for identical 'mirror' twins who have no interest in college or jobs or possibly anything outside their cozy suburban home. But everything changes when they receive notice that an aunt whom they didn't know existed has died and left them her flat in an apartment block overlooking Highgate Cemetery in London. They feel that at last their own lives can begin ...but 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 even to their aunt herself, who never got over her estrangement from the twins' mother - and who can't even seem to quite leave her flat...With Highgate Cemetery itself a character and echoes of Henry James and Charles Dickens, "Her Fearful Symmetry" is a delicious and deadly twenty-first-century ghost story about Niffenegger's familiar themes of love, loss and identity. It is certain to cement her standing as one of the most singular and remarkable novelists of our time.
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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 recently serialized in the Guardian and will be published soon 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.
By Chelsea MacNeil 21 Feb 2013
It took a while to get to the climax of the story, but once you did ... what a great read. I really enjoyed the book!
By Penny Cunningham 18 Jun 2010
I have saw some very uncomplimentary reviews of this book, but must say that it was very entertaining. One of a set of twins (Elspeth) dies never having made things up with her twin sister after a terrible falling out years before. She leaves her flat and wordly goods to her twins, twin daughters who live in America, they come to London to take up residence in the flat, however Elspeth has not really left and floats around watching these two delightful young girls!! It is gentle and relaxing and reflective and I am loving it!! When I finish it I will update this review, but I really do recommend it! (added later) This story threw up a few little twists to the plot which I enjoyed. I do not want to give the whole thing away so all I can say is go out and buy it!
p.s It seems though if you enjoyed Time Travelers Wife you may not like this and vice versa!!(I was not that fussed about Time Travelers wife!)
By Amanda McInerney 31 Dec 2009
Having enjoyed Audrey Neffenegger's "The Time Traveller's Wife" enormously, I was very eager to read this, her latest and, initially, I wasn't disappointed. The prose is very pleasant and the plot carried me along with it. However, the characters soon began to leave me wondering, with a lack of clear justification for their motives. The quirky London cast gave the story some interest, but the wildly irrational decisions made by the aunt, her lover and, ultimately, one of the twins stretched my bounds just that bit too far and just seemed very silly. I also think that the total lack of anything resembling an ending let the book down badly - the story just seemed to 'stop'!
The setting of Highgate Cemetery, however, was just wonderful and sent me straight to the internet to search out pictures and information on this fascinating place. A spot to put on our tourist map when we next make the trip from Australia to London!