you’ve read (and loved) Audrey Niffenegger’s first fantastic novel, The Time Traveller’s Wife, you’ll have been as anxious as I was about her follow up novel Her Fearful Symmetry. It’s a book I both yearned for and dreaded. How could it compare with The Time Traveller’s Wife, one of my all time favourite novels? I was scared to find out.
Unlike The Time Traveller’s Wife, Her Fearful Symmetry is not a love story. In fact it’s quite the opposite, it’s a dark haunting ghost story set in London. The book centres around identical teenage twins Julia and Valentina who find out that the aunt they never knew existed, has died and left them a flat in London overlooking Highgate Cemetery. They travel away from their American home for the first time to begin their new life in England. There they meet their new neighbours Martin, the obsessive compulsive and Robert their aunt’s elusive lover, and they begin to piece together the life of their mysterious aunt Elspeth.
But their fresh start is overshadowed by a ghostly presence in their new home. Their aunt Elspeth, who so desperately wanted to know the twins when she was alive, finally has the opportunity to spend time with her long lost nieces. And now that she’s finally found them, she’s doesn’t want to let them go.
Her Fearful Symmetry is an eerie novel which examines the strange relationship the twins share and looks at the secrets that we keep from the ones we love the most. The book might not please all fans of The Time Travellers Wife, but this delicious and deadly tale will definitely have you turning the pages. Perfect for a cosy autumnal night in.
If you enjoyed Her Fearful Symmetry, why not try one these?
Rebecca by Daphne Du Marier
This timeless classic tells the story of the new Mrs de Winter who is living in the constant shadow of her husband’s dead wife, Rebecca. This haunting tale sees a young girls struggle to find her own identity in her new home, the gothic Manderley, where the memory of Rebecca never dies.
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
The Thirteenth Tale is the story of reclusive author Vida Winter. Now an old lady, she calls on a young biographer to reveal the truth about her life. What follows is a spellbinding tale about the beautiful and wilful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden and a devastating fire.