Friday, 10 December 2010

Book Review - Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffeneggar

Synopsis - Elspeth Nolan dies and leaves her flat overlooking Highgate Cemetary to her nieces, twins Julia and Valentina Poole, on the condition their mother never crosses the threshold.  Until the solicitor's letter arrives. neither of the twins knew their aunt existed.  On moving to London from America they hope they can begin to lead their own separate lives.  But they have no idea that they have been summoned into a tangle of fraying lives, from the OCD crossword setter in the flat above to their aunt's mysterious and elusive lover in the flat below.  As the twins unravel their aunt's secrets, it appears that she is not quite ready to leave her flat, even after death.
Review - I begun to really get into this book from the outset.  Niffeneggar's easy writing and ability to make the characters likeable, it appeared to be a normal ghost story.  I liked the unusual relationship of the OCD Martin and his estranged wife.  The behaviour of Robert (the lover) was rather odd at first but it is believable that he would not have wanted to meet the twins, fear of what and who they may be like and perhaps the finality that his beloved Elspeth was really dead. Elspeth popping up here and there as a ghost, I thought was quite sweet but once she discovered by accident that she could kill the cat, I did wonder which way the story would turn.  I was not surprised once the weaker and dependant twin wanted her own independance and started to express her wishes and schemes, the outcome became inevitable.  I was disappointed at the end.  Not as good as The Time Traveller's Wife.  3*

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