Thursday, July 29, 2010

Her Fearful Symmetry

I loved, loved, loved The Time Traveler's Wife, so I was greatly anticipating this second novel by Audrey Niffenegger last year.  When it came out, I scooped it up immediately and was excited to settle in for another good read. 

It's a ghost story set in Highgate Cemetery.  It's an intriguing story, and the story builds for three quarters of the book and could have been a really wonderful story if it had a couple more hundred pages or so.  It begins with two estranged twin sisters.  One dies, Elspeth, and bequeaths her London apartment to her sister's twin daughters with one request, her sister can never set foot in the place. While the younger twins are inseparable, you learn that all is not as it seems and one is suffocating the other in her dominance.

It seemed as though the characters were being well developed and a story was unfolding, but I kept waiting and seeing I was getting closer and closer to the end of the story and wondering what the big climax was and what type of resolution could be completed in just a few short pages, and then it builds into absurdity that just leaves you thinking "huh?"  In the end, it made me wonder if the author just got sick of the story and wanted to quickly wrap it up. It felt like this wonderfully slow build that just drops you off a cliff at the end.  You feel invested in the characters and want more story, but it just ends in a ridiculous way.  She could have done so much more with the story, it was very disappointing. 

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