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Her Fearful Symmetry

July 22, 2010

 The Time Traveler’s Wife was an ethereal and transcendent novel. I’ve read it countless times, and each time I fall in love with Henry, Claire, and even Ingrid. Niffenegger’s second novel, Her Fearful Symmetry is also an ethereal and transcendent work, but in a much darker and morbid sense, with its preoccupation with death and cemeteries. The title is a play on words pun -symmetry and cemetery are the same words when you say them in a British accent. (Bet you just tried it out!)

The title derives from a William Blake poem The Tyger, when he says, “What hand or eye dared to create your fearful symmetry.” (Or something along the lines of that, I’m quoting from the top of my head). Blake is questioning how a God who made such a docile creature like the lamb could make the tyger, who kills. Her Fearful Symmetry is composed of the same juxtaposition with the docile and the strong. I found myself hooked on Elspeth, Valentina, and Robert’s strange predicament. 
It took me about 50 pages to get into this book, while I was hooked on The Time Traveler’s Wife from the first page. I find a lot of author’s sophomore works aren’t as good as their debut novel (  ( (White Oleander)) Janet Fitch’s Paint It Black or  ((The Virgin Suicides)) Jeffrey Eugeness’ Middle Sex anyone?

Has anyone else read this haunting novel? What did you think?

I also LOVE book recommendations. I’m an avid reader and devour books like they were Pop Tarts.



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