Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger – a review

standard September 25, 2009 2 responses

Imagine a world where the supernatural feels natural. Where you suspend disbelief without realizing it. Where nothing is as it seems, but you just can’t tell that things are slightly off.

You’ve just had a taste of Audrey Niffenegger’s new book, Her Fearful Symmetry.

I was floored by The Time Traveler’s Wife, her first book. Completely taken in by the fantastic, touching, beautiful story. Completely enamored of the writing.

So, when I heard that at long last Audrey Niffenegger was putting out a new book, I held my breath. Would she be able to do it again? Now that I’ve written the draft to a novel I have so much more respect for novelists. I know how hard it is to tease out a story, create characters, and grow the magic that makes a book special. And I know how easy it is to fall short of your mark.

I shouldn’t have worried. She did it again.

Her Fearful Symmetry has nothing to do with The Time Traveler’s Wife. It has radically different characters. It’s set in a different country. And yet, it has the same magic.

Only Audrey Niffenegger can write books that are technically fantastic, but feel completely and utterly normal.

Crack open the pages of Her Fearful Symmetry and you’ll discover that cemeteries are not just dark, damp, scary places where people are laid to rest. You’ll be introduced to characters who are so multifaceted that days after finishing the book you’ll still feel like you’re getting to know them. And you’ll learn that you can tell a story one way and have it mean something completely different in the end.

I loved The Time Traveler’s Wife because the story stayed with me long after I cried my way through the last chapter. I’m in love with Her Fearful Symmetry because the characters are staying with me in the same way.

It’s a haunting book, and it’s a fantastic read. This is the book you’ll give to all your friends this holiday season and it’s the book all the bookclubs are going to be talking about for months to come. I wish I could tell you more, but I love you too much to deny you the joy of discovering it for yourself.

*****
I’m excited to tell you that Regal Literary, publisher of Her Fearful Symmetry is offering copies of Her Fearful Symmetry in a lottery to anyone who joins the Facebook fan page and emails them at hfs@regal-literary.com. So have at it! Go forth and win what’s definitely going to be the hit of the year!

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2 responses

  • It’s always fun/weird/cool when I finish a book, but then wonder what the characters are doing when it’s done. You know, like they’re real people.

    I was a little behind on The Time Traveler’s Wife, so give me a while to get to this one!

    Adding it to my list…

  • This just happened to show up below your Doctor Who blog post, and since I’d read HFS I thought I’d check your review out. Great job! I actually read HFS before TTW, and I do love both of them for the same reasons you do. Characters that stay. 🙂

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