Tonight, I attended my very first book club meeting and I must say that I throughly enjoyed it. I've never really seriously sat down with people after reading a book and discussed it. We usually just tell each other if we liked the book or not and why and that's about it.
A the book club meeting, it was great to sit down and really explore some topics from the book and to voice my opinions on certain things in the book. Tonight's book was Audrey Niffenegger's "Her Fearful Symmetry". I certainly like the book a whole lot more now after chatting about it for two hours. Yet, I still much prefer Niffenegger's first novel, "The Time Travelers Wife". If you haven't read that one, I strongly urge you to rush out this moment and purchase it! It's an amazing book with beautiful characters. The movie certainly did not do it justice.
Well, here is a synopsis of "Her Fearful Symmetry"that I found online that I hope will encourage you to read it:
After Elspeth Noblin dies, she finds herself a ghost witnessing the toll her death is taking on her boyfriend Robert Fanshaw, whose grief is shattering and all-consuming. Before her passing, Elspeth asked him to help with the execution of her will, which included removing all papers and diaries from her apartment. The London flat, which resides right above Robert’s, has recently been left to Elspeth’s nieces, twins Julia and Valentina.
Meanwhile, in Michigan, Edie, Elspeth’s twin, learns of her sister’s death and is not entirely sure how to act. Her husband feels he cannot help, and her twin daughters, who were left everything by Elspeth, are excited about their new life in London. But despite her children’s happiness, there is a secret looming over Edie, a secret so powerful that it kept the sisters apart for years. Scared that it all may be revealed, Edie becomes more withdrawn and fearful.
Julia and Valentina move to London and begin residing in Elspeth's flat there. Looming over all of these characters is Elspeth, she observes the girls and finally grows strong enough to reveal herself. Her sudden reappearance causes much strain for many of the characters, and soon it's not just the secret that becomes problematic.
"Her Fearful Symmetry" is full of interesting characters who all seem to be waiting for something in their lives --- a love to return, a secret to be revealed, or a love to be found. Martin, the twins’ upstairs neighbor, waits in vain for his wife Marijke to return, Robert desperately wants Elspeth back, Julia never wants to be apart from Valentina, and Valentina wants nothing more than to have a life of her own. And hovering over everyone is death and disappearance, symbolized by the ghost of Elspeth. While the ghost fades into their lives, they all end up fading out of their own in a strange way.
When the deep, dark secret is revealed, it is sad, deceptive, and has the power to ruin the lives of everyone if discovered. Without giving too much away, I will say that I didn't feel completely surprised --- all of the twins in this book are perplexing --- and while the secret itself is unexpected, I could easily see how the two individuals involved could have pulled the deception off. Regardless, in the end, you will feel sad for all the characters, even the ones who manage to find themselves again. But you may not get over the poignant final act that brings everything full circle."
So, do you want to read it now? If you have read it, what did you think?