When Elspeth Noblin dies of cancer, she leavers her London apartment to her twin nieces, Julia and Valentina. These two American girls never met their English aunt, only knew that their mother, too, was a twin, and Elspeth her sister. Julia and Valentina 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. They are twenty. The girls move to Elspeth’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 setter suffering from crippling Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; Marjike, Martin’s devoted but trapped wife, and Robert, Elspeth’s elusive lover, a scholar of the cemetery. As the girls become embroiled in the fraying lives of their aunt’s neighbors, they also discover that much is still alive in Highgate, including—perhaps—their aunt, who can’t seem to leave her old apartment and life behind. Niffenegger weaves a captivating story in Her Fearful Symmetry about love and identity, about secrets and sisterhood, and about the tenacity of life—even after death.
I enjoyed this book. I occasionally like to be a little scared and creeped out by a story and this book was just the ticket. The characters were interesting, even though not very endearing. I enjoyed the author's manner of describing people, places, events as the story unfolded. It was not overly complicated- an easy read - but had lots of good food for thought.
I think this is a great second book. Its completely different from The Timetravelers Wife, so comparison would be silly. There are a lot of characters and plots that intertwine. I thought it was worth the exposition. The narrator does a nice job.