Home > Arts and Entertainment > RESOLUTION READING REVIEW: “HER FEARFUL SYMMETRY”

RESOLUTION READING REVIEW: “HER FEARFUL SYMMETRY”

 BY KRISTIN CHALMERS

I am a bookworm who has metamorphosed into what? A cable worm? A gaming worm? An Internet worm? Thus, my No. 1 New Year’s Resolution for 2010: Read more books! OK, that’s admittedly general, and I suppose not even measurable, as I don’t know what I read last year. My original goal for this year was one book a month. But by choosing carefully, I am doing better than that.

In other words, I pick only books I really want to read, not books I think I should  read (I’m talking to you, “Don Quixote”). I’m also striving for quality and currency with the help of the library, where I am maxing out my holds. So easy!  Any suggestions would be appreciated. Fiction only. Easy on the Chick Lit, people.

Meanwhile, I’ll offer a review from time to time—a Resolution Reading Review, let’s call it–beginning now with … “Her Fearful Symmetry,” by Audrey Niffenegger (Simon & Schuster).

This book may have profited from low expectations based on repeated viewings of the super-corny-love-story commercials for the author’s previous work, The Time Traveller’s Wife.  But Niffenegger’s follow-up novel actually delivers more than I expected:  twins, more twins, a dusty London townhouse, Highgate cemetary, Victoriana, obsessive compulsive disorder, corpse preservation, a long-held secret, a how-to on becoming a ghost.

  Apparently, the author, Audrey Niffeneggar, and I share similar interests, although her taste for the macabre surpasses mine.  She is currently working on a story about a nine-year-old girl with hypertrichosis [yes, that’s hirsutism (yes, that means she’s really hairy)], who is home-schooled by her aunt, but wants to go to school.  Hi-jinks, I’m sure, ensue. 

Although Niffenegger splits her time between Chicago, where she has taught bookmaking, typography, and writing at Columbia College, and London, where she occasionally acts as a docent at Highgate Cemetary, her language is more upper-crusty anglophile than Midwestern artist, which gives the story an interesting flavor.

 Also, extra points for the beautifully creepy book jacket design and title.

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  1. March 30, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Don Quixote is one of my very favorite books I am shocked by your comments regarding it! LOL!

  2. April 1, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    Hi Kristin, that’s a great resolution! I’m looking forward to reading your next offering. You write well, and I especially appreciate your humor.

    • April 1, 2010 at 3:15 pm

      Thanks, Heather!
      Note to self: must copyright personal blog.

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