After reading The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger’s first novel and absolutely falling in love with her writing style, attention to detail, and storytelling ability, I thought nothing could top her debut novel that combined science-fiction and fantasy with a love story that Hollywood turned it into a movie. The film stars Rachel McAdams (The Notebook) and Eric Bana (The Other Boleyn Girl) will be released on DVD later this month. The film adaptation is a well done but isn’t as good as the novel. When I heard about the release of Niffenegger’s second novel Her Fearful Symmetry, I was eager to read it and expected a tale as equally fascinating as her previous novel and this gifted author didn’t disappoint.
Her Fearful Symmetry tells an intertwining story of a set of twenty-something twins who inherit a London apartment after the death of their aunt. The novel is a ghost story of sorts set against the backdrop of London’s Highgate Cemetery. Having studied Victorian literature in college, I had a bit of background knowledge about this famous location, but Niffenegger does a fantastic job of explaining the historical significance of Highgate to her readers so this background is not explicitly necessary. Highgate Cemetery, which serves as a burial ground for many famous historical figures including, Christina Rossetti, George Eliot, and Karl Marx, almost becomes its own character in the novel.
Readers of science fiction, fantasy, romance, and mystery will be drawn to this novel. And fans of The Time Traveler’s Wife will find this novel just as interesting. Even readers who are unfamiliar with Niffenegger’s work may just find themselves spellbound.