Summer Reading Now: Her Fearful Symmetry

The first book I’m reading for the summer is Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger. Julia and her twin-sister Valentina went to live in London, after they received a letter from their aunt Elspeth’s solicitor making them sole benefactors of her possessions if they live for one year in her house. Furthermore their parents may come and visit, but aren’t welcome in Elspeth’s house.  This already makes you think what is this all about? What has happened between Elspeth and her also twin-sister Edie for these harsh measures? One thing is for sure that her sister eloped with Elspeth’s fianceé in the past. Is this enough for a lifelong, after death revenge?

Another storyline is that of Martin, the upstairs neighbor of Elspeth’s, who suffers of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). It’s a condition where he’s obsessed with things being contaminated.  This is how Julia met him. One night when Julia en Valentina went to sleep in Elspeth’s bed, water came pouring down from the ceiling and it became much worse. Martin was having one of his fits and was scrubbing the floor obsessively on one spot with too much water till his hands bled. Martin was scared of going out and lives in a cluttered house; another strange thing of the sickness.  No wonder his wife Marijke left him after 23 years, even though she loved him but couldn’t cope anymore with the situation.

The story becomes more intriguing, when it appears that Elspeth’s energy is still in the house.  Elspeth tries in every way to attract their attention. Valentina is the first one to sense her. She thinks it’s a ghost, but it’s Elspeth roaming in the house trying to make contact with the living namely Robert and the twins.

An there is Robert, Elspeth’s former lover. Also a strange dude who is writing a thesis on cemeteries and is a tour guide in one of them. When the twins came to live in Elspeth’s house he should’ve met with them, but instead he kept a distance and went following them everywhere they went.

Finally the identical twins Julia and Valentina. The twins are inseperable. I wonder, is it because Julia is the dominant of the two and Valentina is scared of her? At the same time it looks like now they have their differences and fight like cats and dogs. Once Julia’s arm had scratches on it, supposedly from a difference of opinion they had. Valentina is the quite one, called ‘mouse’ by Julia. She has asthma and for this Julia is very protective of her sister. But things between them are changing in a rapid way.

Now I have nearly reviewed the book. There is still some juicy stuff I will leave for the review. This is just a foretaste of what will happen.

~ by eneryvibes on 1,July 15, 2011.

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