Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Book Review: Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffeneggger

I was drawn to this in a charity shop a) because I remember really enjoying The Time Traveler's Wife about 6 years ago, and b) because it was in near-new condition and only about £2.

Elspeth lives in a flat in a big old Victorian house in London that backs onto Highgate Cemetery. Her lover/long-term partner, Robert, lives in the flat downstairs and Martin,  a man with severe OCD, lives upstairs.
Near the beginning of the story Elspeth dies, and leaves the flat in her will to her twin nieces who currently live in America, and they move to London.

This is a ghost story - but it doesn't really get creepy until about two thirds of the way in. I did enjoy the story as you get to know the characters and how their lives intertwine.
The insights into the lives of identical twins and the life of someone with severe OCD were really interesting, and they added to the story. I know they are fictional but Niffenegger did do a lot of research!

This is a great read for the lead up for Hallowe'en to get you in the mood - its mainly set in a cemetery, for goodness' sake! Although I admit I started reading this in August and had a break of about 3-4 weeks in the middle where I forgot all the characters' names.

I do love the setting. Niffenegger has obviously undergone in-depth research into Highgate Cemetery, and reading this book has definitely made me want to visit! If you want a little look round the cemetery from a blogger's perspective, read about Becky Bedbug's visit here.

I don't think I've done this book justice in this review - I never really know what to write! The story does stay with you and makes you wander what you would have done in each character's situation.

If you get a chance to read it, do!

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