Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Her Fearful Symmetry, by Audrey Niffenegger

The Time Traveller's Wife, by the same author is an international best seller therefore readers expect a repeat of a similar experience reading this book.
I had not read Audrey Niffenegger's: "The Time Traveler's Wife", in addition I am a novice in the supernatural, paranormal book genre.
When twin sisters Valentina and Julia Pools are told that their aunt Elspeth, who they have never seen, has left them her estate on the condition that they stay in her flat in London, England, close to Highgate Cemetery, for one year, they think this will be a nice change in their aimless lives.
At the age of 20, the twins are still living with their parents, Edwina and Jack, in Chicago. They have pursued higher education only to drop out, claiming that they want to find the subject they both like and more importantly guarantees they can be together all time. Julia, the stronger of the two, is making decision for both of them, unaware that Valentina, the subordinate twin is unhappy with her life in Julia's shadow.
The sisters, each for different reason, welcome the opportunity to live in London on their own for one year. Their mother, Edwina, however is quite worried about the prospects of the twins living on their own in Elspeth's, her twin sister's, flat.
Edwina is keeping a dark secret from her family. The secret explains why Elspeth and Edwina have not been talking, visiting, and writing to each other after Edwina got married to Jack and moved to USA. The only other person who is carrying the dark family secret is Robert, Elspeth's lover, who inherited Elspeth's diaries after her death.
Elspeth's death is an opportunity for this dark secret to be revealed, except for Elspeth is not entirely dead. Her soul is lingering around her flat waiting to be discovered by the twins, Valentina and Julia, and restless to communicate with her lover, Robert.
How and when the secret is revealed to those who don't know it and are most affected by it? Who gets what she/he wants? Who gets what he/she deserves?
There is a lot of twist and turn to the story and the events leading to secret being revealed become really bizarre and unrealistic. The main point of the story, I think, is love: love between the twins, and between the couples, when alive and after they die. Although about love the language is hardly romantic; and the events showing the love is built on trickery.