Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
A good book can transport its reader into a world filled with interesting characters that the reader can love or loathe and that’s why I love Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger.
Her Fearful Symmetry revolves around the secrets shared between twin sisters Elspeth and Edie Noblin. Years after a secret tears them apart, Elspeth dies of cancer and bequeaths her London apartment to Edie’s twin daughters, Julie and Valentina, who live in Chicago. The young sisters are intrigued by the idea of moving to a new city that’s very far from their home and their parents, but there are conditions. Julie and Valentina must live in Elspeth’s apartment for one year before they can sell it and their parents are not allowed inside.
Once the girls are in London, they realize that they aren’t exactly alone in the apartment. The ghost of their aunt Elspeth slowly makes her presence known to Julie and Valentina. When Elspeth chooses a favorite, the cracks in Julie and Valentina’s relationship are split open. The twins have what may be considered an unnaturally close relationship and Julie doesn’t know how to live life without her sister by her side. Valentina dreams of a life away from her clingy sister, but she is too weak to stand up for what she wants.
When Valentina meets her aunts former boyfriend and neighbor Robert, she begins to fall in love with him and dreams of a life where she can do what she wants and be with who she wants without having to answer to Julie.
Julie begins to feel jealous of Valentina, but she isn’t the only one. Elspeth is also upset that Valentina gets to spend time with Robert and she’s upset with Robert for not pining for her more.
While Valentina spends time with Robert, Julie decides to spend time with her neighbor Martin, who suffers from OCD. Julie transfers her need to care for Valentina to caring for Martin.
This book is a must read and was very hard to put down. As I read this book, I found myself getting emotionally involved in the lives of these fictional characters. You can tell when something bad is going to happen and as you turn the page, you hope the character will do the right thing or change their mind. You realize you can’t change the outcome of the story even though you really want to. That’s a sign the writer has done their job well.
I highly recommend this book and hope you enjoy it as much as I did.