Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Asymmetrical love for Her Fearful Symmetry

Ever since I got hooked on magical realism, I have been buying books with the same theme nonstop. A few years ago, I got hold of Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife and as expected, I got hooked! I just love the surrealism of it all-- how it would bring your mind to another dimension where fantasy meets reality, the union of which just explodes into magic!

So you could only imagine how excited I was to get hold of Niffenegger's second book, Her Fearful Symmetry. For some reason however, the book has been gathering dust in my bookshelf for months until I remembered I had it and started reading. The first few chapters got me hooked. Niffenegger had a way with words that makes reading her so easy and enjoyable. It also helped that the plot excited me:

Two twins inherits a flat in London from their Aunt who recently passed away. This Aunt, Elspeth, is their mother's twin sister, who they haven't even met. Elspeth left the flat and all her other possessions to her sister's daughters, on the condition that they live there for a year.

The twins leave behind their American lives and begin a life in London, while trying to know more of their dead Aunt and what really caused the rift between her and their mother. The twins get acquainted with their dead Aunt's friends and in a way, also get acquainted with their dead Aunt, who they find, may not have left the flat afterall.

Hmm... interesting right? Well, it was indeed interesting AT FIRST. But for some reason, while the plot thickened, the story bordered on the absurd. Then finally in the end, it became one big lump of blah.

Hate is such a strong word so I say I just really dislike this book. I feel like Niffenegger could have done better. I feel like she was in a big hurry to finish the book that she didn't take time to reflect and come up with a good story...or even just a decent climax and ending.

I would love for Niffenegger to write a third book... one that would help me remember why I enjoyed The Time Traveler's Wife.

Oh yes, a third book would be Niffenegger's saving grace.


  1. I know what you mean. I love TIme Traveler's Wife so I expected Her Fearful Symmetry to be good too. My best friend sent me an autographed copy of it-as a gift.

    By the time I finished 1/4 of the book (didn't even finish it) I was thinking 'I wish she just had Audrey autograph Time Traveler's Wife instead'.


    Bea from A plus B

  2. I feel you!!!

    So sad about the autographed version. But still, you're so lucky to even have her autograph ;)


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