Her Fearful Symmetry

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By:

Narrated By: Bianca Amato

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Date: September 2009

Duration: 13 hours 46 minutes

Summary:

Six years after the phenomenal success of The Time Traveler's Wife, Audrey Niffenegger has returned with a spectacularly compelling and haunting second novel set in and around Highgate Cemetery in London.

When Elsepth Noblin dies of cancer, she leaves her London apartment to her twin nieces, Julia and Valentina. These two American girls never knew of their aunt's existence. They are semi-normal American teenagers--with seemingly little interest in college, finding jobs, or anything outside their cozy home in the suburbs of Chicago-and with an abnormally intense attachment to one another.

The girls are twenty. They must wait one year before they receive this inheritance--and then their lives will begin. Julia and Valentina move to Elsepth's flat, which borders Highgate Cemetery in London. They come to know the building's other residents. There is Martin, a brilliant and charming crossword puzzle writer suffering from crippling obsessive compulsive disorder; Marjike, Martin's exuberant but trapped wife; and Robert, Elsepth's elusive lover, a scholar of the cemetery. As the girls become embroiled in the fraying lives of their aunt's neighbors, they also begin to discover that much is still alive in Highgate, including--perhaps--their aunt, who can't seem to leave her old apartment and life behind.

In her uniquely cinematic and enchanting voice, Niffenegger weaves a captivating story in Her Fearful Symmetry about love and partnership, about secrets and sisterhood, and about the tenacity of life--even after death.

Genres:

  • Anonymous

    Two freakish, immature, tepid, spoiled & unappreciative characters ruin people's (including each other's) lives in this bizarre supernaturalish yarn featuring adolescent-type characters yearning for middle-aged men (a distasteful theme present in the author's more famous book as well). A couple of interesting characters kept me from giving up on finishing.

  • Mandi Scott Chestler

    While the characters were initially engaging, the plot points soon turned ridiculous and monotonous. This attempt at a ghost story was anything but "fearful", often resorting to feeble comedic scenes just to expand the length of the tale.

  • Sandi Graham

    Wanted to like it because Time Traveler's Wife was so incredible. In the end, this story was just not believable.

  • Anonymous

    I am so happy I came across this book. Not having read anything else written by this author, I wasn't sure what to expect. This book kept me intrigued and interested the entire time and the author's voice was soothing and lovely. I agree with the prior review that the build up of the plot was so long and the climax was so abrubt and just strange. To me it seemed like there would have been countless other ways to solve Valentina's dilemma...it was a bit radical and quite risky. The characters were all very complex and believable until the climax involving Ellspeth, Robert and Valentina. No believable character would have ever agreed to "it" under the circumstances. (Wish I could say more but I don't want to ruin the plot twists). Prepare for a sad empty ending...but it really could not have ended any other way.

  • Anonymous

    Plot sorta happened--all of a sudden one character wants to die and this sets actions in motion. Most main characters are hard to like (or to be curious about). Writing and audio performance are lovely.

  • Anonymous

    Wow! This book had me at hello. From the first sentence I was enchanted, and my interest never wavered until the end. Then I felt like I had lost a friend. The writing is superb and the narrator had a gem of an English accent.