Her Fearful Symmetry
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Date: September 2009
Duration: 13 hours 46 minutes
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.
Mandi Scott Chestler