Her Fearful Symmetry

Her Fearful Symmetry 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 thr
  • Title: Her Fearful Symmetry
  • Author: Audrey Niffenegger
  • ISBN: 9780099524175
  • Page: 130
  • Format: Paperback
  • Her Fearful Symmetry
    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 fall through the door of their suburban American home, neither Julia nor Valentina knew their aunt existed The Twins hope that in LonWhen 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 fall through the door of their suburban American home, neither 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 have 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.
    Her Fearful Symmetry By Audrey Niffenegger,
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    About " Audrey Niffenegger "

  • Audrey Niffenegger

    Audrey Niffenegger born June 13, 1963 in South Haven, Michigan is a writer and artist She is also a professor in the MFA Creative Writing Program at Columbia College Chicago Niffenegger s debut novel, The Time Traveler s Wife 2003 , was a national bestseller The Time Traveler s Wife is an unconventional love story that centers on a man with a strange genetic disorder that causes him to unpredictably time travel and his wife, an artist, who has to cope with his constant absence Her Fearful Symmetry 2009 , Niffenegger s second novel, is set in London s Highgate Cemetery where, during research for the book, Niffenegger acted as a tour guide.Niffenegger has also published graphic and illustrated novels including The Adventuress 2006 , The Three Incestuous Sisters 2005 , The Night Bookmobile 2009 , and Raven Girl 2013 Raven Girl was adapted into a ballet by Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor and the Royal Opera House Ballet London in 2013 A mid career retrospective entitled Awake in the Dream World The Art of Audrey Niffenegger, was presented by the National Museum of Women in the Arts Washington D.C in 2013 An accompanying exhibition catalogue examines several themes in Niffenegger s visual art including her explorations of life, mortality, and magic.

  • 477 Comments

  • Here s a question What would you do if you had an overbearing, bossy twin sister whom you needed to get away from a Bear with it she s family after all.b Elope with your middle aged boyfriend.c Get your parents involved and have a long family chat.d Willingly die, and then try to resurrect yourself without her knowledge The meek twin in this story she goes for option d.This book was full of really absurd people doing really absurd things The only way I managed to finish this was by lounging in f [...]


  • My initial reaction was that I really disliked this book On reflection, I still really dislike it but for a different reason than I thought I think what Niffenegger was trying to do here was present a group of deeply dysfunctional characters put them in a ghost story let nature take its course Why anyone would want to read such a thing is beyond me, but there it is Elspeth Noblin dies leaves her London flat, which overlooks Highgate Cemetery, to her nieces, 20 year old American twins Julia Valen [...]


  • This was difficult to put down but I deliberately tried to read slowly beause it was such a pleasure to read Niffenegger is one of the finest contemporary writers and noone does longing and stymied love better than she does.This book reminded me of Time Traveler s Wife as well as The Lovely Bones The stories center on an apartment building right off of Highgate Cemetery in London One apartment belongs to Elspeth Noblin who dies on the first page of the book and bequeaths the apartment to her twi [...]


  • This is a very tricky book to review I thoroughly enjoyed Her Fearful Symmetry Having heard plenty of mixed reviews about this one, I wasn t sure how I would find it On top of that, it was soon due back at the library, and I had 4 other library books calling my name desperately I needn t have worried This book definitely got me thinking and I like it when a book does that when it stays in my mind for a long time after I actually finished reading it.Her Fearful Symmetry is definitely a challengin [...]


  • Another Audrey Niffeneger book where I m not sure what or who I m supposed to root for Reading the Time Traveler s Wife I often thought the words BREAK UP WITH HIM, ALREADY while the rest of the world was weeping over DOOMED LOVE.Also, soulmates aren t real, and you don t have one.Back to the book at handI had lunch in a local cafe while Niffenegger was being interviewed about this book at the next table, and it made for GREAT eavesdropping, and I got hooked on the premise of this book I don t k [...]


  • Like so many other readers, I was enchanted by The Time Traveler s Wife There was a willing suspension of disbelief on my part which goes against my skeptical and cynical nature but the story was sweet and engaging enough to pull it off Not so much with Her Fearful Symmetry Again, through at least the first 2 3 of the book, I was willing to suspend disbelief and go with the story But then it just got ridiculous beyond the point where I enjoyed the story any Essentially a ghost story, Her Fearful [...]


  • Audrey Niffenegger s Her Fearful Symmetry is for the most part, a good, solid old fashioned ghost story with a contemporary setting The backdrop to the novel, and what to an extent becomes the dominant character in the story, is London s Highgate Cemetery which is paradoxically an obvious but inspired and perfect choice It s a fascinating, hugely atmospheric and wonderful place to visit and is ideal as the setting for a haunting story of the supernatural such as this one Audrey Niffenegger worke [...]


  • Tyger Tyger burning brightIn the forests of the night,What immortal hand or eyeCould frame thy fearful symmetry William Blake, The Tyger When an acclaimed author Audrey Niffenegger takes a phrase from an inscrutable poem The Tyger , readers such as myself are apt to expect a great story Without a doubt Niffenegger s prose is elegant, her place descriptions London and Highgate Cemetery are exceptional, and her intricate plot has great promise.That promise is not fulfilled.Niffenegger speaks of gh [...]


  • I read Niffenegger s first novel before the days of GR and I remembered when I decided to rate it, I wavered between 3 liked it and 4 stars really liked it I ended up opting for 4 stars, because I did remember so much of it due to its sense of place and its unique storytelling Her second novel has these same elements her strengths are obviously her imaginative story lines, which she roots in concrete reality But the story, which started out strong, lost its way long before the weak ending.My str [...]


  • Oh my this is the BEST book I have read in AGES If I could give it stars in the rating I would Having just finished this book, I m having flash backs to the Women in Literature classes I took at the University of Puget Sound I loved those classes because we would debate discuss the significance of women and their relationships with other women and with men I wish I could have one of those discussions regarding this book This book is excellent on so many different layers and levels, my head is s [...]


  • Wow, disappointing Kept waiting for this to get good, and it never quite did The two major surprises are painfully transparent well before they actually happen I was hoping that I was being misled, because it couldn t be that obvious, could it , most of the characters aren t very sympathetic, and the pacing is slow Glad I didn t give into the impulse to buy a copy for myself, and instead borrowed it from the library I d be even upsetAnd of course, I d be forgiving if I hadn t loved the author [...]


  • Just some thoughts I loved this novelbut in a completely different way than I love The Time Traveler s Wife I wasn t sure what to expect so I tried not to have any expectations, which is exactly the attitude to have going into this book It has what now seems to be Niffenegger s style of writing that s smart funny quirky but somehow all seems to come together easily It has a few curveballs, so don t bother reading ahead like I didy to confuse myself until I read straight through must get rid of t [...]


  • When Elspeth dies, she leaves her papers to her boyfriend and her flat to her twin s children, the twin sisters Julia and Valentina JV are very pale, very slim, and although they re nearly 21, very unformed They have no friends, no lovers, little education, and no interests besides watching tv together They are astoundingly boring Meanwhile, their upstairs neighbor is struggling with OCD and a passionate love for his wife, who has left him because of it And their downstairs neighbor is Robert, E [...]


  • The fact that this book is titled after a line in one of my least favorite poems ever should perhaps be a strike against it, but the title is quite fitting and somehow makes even sense in this context than in Blake s use of it This is the story of two sets of twins hence the symmetry who have an extremely odd system of relationships system, because the story explores the highly varied and yet remarkably similar relationships between the four twins To say too much about these relationships would [...]


  • I don t even know where to start with this book The fact that it was set in and near Highgate Cemetery in London gave it a creepy, gothic, horror movie kind of quality One of the main characters is the ghost of the late Elspeth Noblin The description of the twin sisters, Julia and Valentina, portrays them as almost ghost like as well They are whispy, pointless, lackluster, colorless young women who have no identity outside their twin ness The upstairs neighbor is a recluse who suffers from obses [...]


  • Many thanks to Regal Literary for sending me an ARC, and also to Audrey for accepting my invitation to appear here for a QA session I don t think there is a fitting time of year for curling up with this novel Chilly mornings, Damp afternoons, wrapped in a blanket watching the leaves change color and fall to the ground.It s a ghost story but so much It s a story about transition, about love, about separation, about strength, about deciet, about abandonment It s hopeful, and sad, and wonderful, [...]


  • The Time Traveller s Wife this is not TTW was a poignant story about normal people trying to live in, and make sense of, an abnormal situation In contrast, Her Fearful Symmetry has a shortage of even moderately well adjusted, let alone likable, characters and a storyline that resulted in a significant number of eye rolls and sighs of good grief simultaneously, on occasion particularly in the first 1 3 I thought the 2nd 1 3 was enjoyable as the twins became individual, Robert became merely conf [...]


  • Update 1 6 10 I m amending my review of this book, and making a new rule that I will not do reviews for at least a day once I ve finished What changed for me here was a lack of connection with the characters I can t rate this as five stars because I really, in retrospect, didn t like any of them all that well or how they behaved I awaited this novel with eager anticipation and read it so fast, I will have to revisit it I hate plot summaries, that is what and book jackets are for, so let me synop [...]


  • Such a disappointment.While I certainly didn t expect this to be a clone of The Time Traveler s Wife and I hate when authors write the same novels over and over, like, say, Jodi Picoult , this book was exponentially less than TTTW.The main characters Julia and Valentina the twins, Robert Fanshaw, Elspeth were not likable or warm I had some sympathy for Valentina and her desire to split from her overbearing twin, but the scheme concocted to acheive this was over the top even over the top than a [...]


  • The beginning of this novel was lovelyautifully written and intriguing, with characters I found interesting and a plot that had all kinds of potential I quickly grew frustrated, though, with the characters general inertia and then their downright horribleness towards the end with the exception of OCD Martin I just found Niffenegger s ghosts so unappealing and their habits so not right and the whole soul removing thing too bleh Not what I wanted from this story at all I still think she s a great [...]


  • I am now BITTER LIKE A BITTER, BITTER THING that this book, however panned it was, got its author a zillion dollar advance and huge print run, while Peter S Beagle s A Fine and Private Place, a wonderful book that actually combines the supernatural and the natural world beautifully, is still barely known Pah.



  • I definitely don t know how to review this one For context, I adored Time Traveler s Wife to pieces, and I normally keep my distance from anything that even hints of romance The entire time I was reading Her Fearful Symmetry, I had a hard time remembering that the same author wrote both books HFS has a nice gothic atmosphere, which reaches from the tone to the ghostly elements to the setting London s Highgate Cemetery I felt like it had in common with Tana French s awesome mysteries than it did [...]


  • I was somewhat anxious to read this work having enjoyed The Time Traveler s Wife and was immediately reminded of how beautifully she wrote The opening scenes of Elspeth s death were touching, elegant and oddly reaffirming I expected to be on the verge of quite a wonderful tale.However when we came to the American side of the story, the description of the twins was than just a bit odd It was especially lovely when they simultaneously give the finger to the television when George Bush is on Just [...]


  • I have never read The Time Traveler s Wife, Ms Niffenegger s claim to fame, and after reading Her Fearful Symmetry it is very likely I never will This was not a bad book by any means but for me it simply failed to deliver the goose bumpy moments I so sincerely hoped for.All the variables were there, there were creepy mirror twins, cooky neighbors, a spooky cemetery, a mystery to be solved and even a ghost in residence But nope, just because the variables were there it didn t mean the equation wa [...]


  • I m vascilating between three and four stars I lean towards three only because The Time Traveler s Wife is one of my favorite books of all time and so my expectations were high What a creepy, twisted book So fun This is the story of enmeshed twins who live in their aunt s haunted flat in London I especially enjoyed the sub plot of Martin and Marijke I think my favorite part had to be the history of Highgate Cemetary that was woven in throghout the book Also, the poetry references in the book wer [...]


  • I ve been desperately seeking The Right Book Unfortunately, The Right Book isn t from a specific genre, or by a specific author or set in a certain period in time That would be too easy, you see The book I m looking for is one that winds its way into your heart and soul, takes you deep into the characters lives and then squashes your heart, rips it from your chest and leaves it beating weakly on the table while you weep Those books are hard to come by At most, I find one or two a year But The Ti [...]


  • Throw a huge cemetery, a cold wintery London, bizzare mirror twins, a ferrel kitten and a recntly dead Aunt into a pot together and the result is a wonderfully quirky, melancholoy, spooky book.The story is set around Highgate Cemetery in London where a recently dead Elspeth has left her appartment to her twenty year old American nieces, Julia and Valentina, who are mirror twins When the twins arrive in their new home they soon learn that they are not alone as it appears their Aunt Elspeth has ne [...]


  • I can easily say that this is the best new book I ve read this year If you like deliciously strange ghost stories, this book will definitely satisfy your appetite I had to make myself read it slowly so that I could savor every morsel of the spell it cast on me when I would read it.At the center of this novel are twin sisters who inherit their aunt s flat near Highgate Cemetery in London The twins Julia and Valentina are mysterious, delicate, murmuring creatures who are inseparable even at age 21 [...]


  • Took me a long time to finish it, almost 2 months I m so torn between 3 or 4 stars but I figured that I loved Niffenegger s writing in this The book also has elements that I m rooting for, London, some vintage esque fashion and paranormal stuff The only thing that bothers me is the relationship between lovers, as well as that little plot twist which I honestly saw coming long before it actually does The writing is very enchanting, I find myself enjoyed reading about the residents of Highgate Abo [...]


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