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.
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"[W]eakly foreshadowed and confusing twists that take the plot from dull to silly. While Niffenegger's gifted prose and past success will garner readers, the story is a disappointment." - Publishers Weekly
"Gimmickry, supernatural and otherwise, blunts what could have been an incisive inquiry into the mysteries and frustrations of too-close kinship from the talented Niffenegger" - Kirkus Reviews
"Niffenegger's writing can be wearyingly overblown, but she has a knack for taking the romantic into the realm of creepiness, and she constructs a taut mystery around the secrets to be found in Elspeth's diaries and the lengths to which she will go to reunite with her younger lover." - The New Yorker
"Niffenegger brings these quirky, troubled characters to marvelous life, but readers may need their own supernatural suspension of disbelief as the story winds to its twisty conclusion." - Amazon Best of the Month.
"This outing may not be as blindly romantic as The Time Traveler's Wife, but it is mature, complex and convincinga dreamy yet visceral tale of loves both familial and erotic, a search for Self in the midst of obsession with an Other. Her Fearful Symmetry is as atmospheric and beguiling as a walk through Highgate itself." - The New York Times - Susann Cokal
The information about Her Fearful Symmetry shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.
Audrey Niffenegger trained as a visual artist at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and received her MFA from Northwestern University's Department of Art Theory and Practice. She has exhibited her artist's books, prints, paintings, drawings and comics at Printworks Gallery in Chicago since 1987. Her first books were printed and bound by hand in editions of ten. Two of these have since been commercially published by Harry N. Abrams: The Adventuress and The Three Incestuous Sisters.
Initially imagined as a graphic novel, Niffenegger realized that her idea for a book about a time traveler and his wife would be difficult to represent in still images. She began to work on the project as a novel, and published The Time Traveler's Wife in 2003 with the independent publisher MacAdam/Cage...
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