Nic ~ Her Fearful Symmetry

11 01 2010

Her Fearful Symmetry – Audrey Niffenegger

I was not sure what to expect when reading this book.  I think that I expected to be amazed, and to have achieved that by means of well written, yet flawed as they should be characters and a plot that would make me think.

What that plot would entail, I was questioning.  Although there is a synopsis printed on the books insert, it still left a lot to the imagination.  I got this much: twin sisters, whose own mother is a twin, move to their deceased aunts apartment in London where they begin to wreck havoc, disrupting the lives of those around them….which could mean anything!

And indeed, not to give it all away, but this book took a unexpected turn that begins to focus on the afterlife.  As the girls begin to unravel more of the mystery of their mother and their aunt, they begin to unravel more and more mysteries surrounding their dead aunts current where abouts.

I myself am not sure what I thought about the plot of this book.  The characters, as with The Time Travelers Wife, are rich, intricate, yet broken.  That alone, I would read this book for.  Niffenegger spins richly woven tales of mystery that keep you wanting more.  But when I reached the end of this one, I was split on my decision about it.

I’m waiting for Kim or some of my other friends to read this, so I can see what others think about this book, and if they share my thoughts and opinions.  If you’ve read it, let me know what you think!


KimN ~ The Time Traveler’s Wife

4 07 2009

The Time Traveler’s Wife ~ Audrey Niffenegger

June 21 ~ I’ve waited way too long to read this book – since Nicole got it for me for my birthday back in March – now is the time!  For a free preview of what I’ll likely also think about this novel… check out Nicole’s review –


Finished ~ July 4.  Wow, this book took me through a whole slew of emotions.  I am left feeling heart-broken, and in awe of the fact that this is Niffenegger’s first novel.  If you try to describe the concept of this novel, you will probably look up to see confused and concerned eyes – concerned because the person you are speaking to cannot understand how you can be so fanatically ecstatic about a book about a time-traveler!  Trust me, you can be.

This is a classic love story, with a fascinating sci-fi twist that makes it unlike any other book I’ve ever read.  It can be a little confusing at times, trying to keep the time-traveler – Henry – straight, in terms of his age, where he is in time-traveling from and to… but Niffenegger does a nice job of setting up each section with the date and age of Henry/s and Clare.  If you get confused… just take a quick glance at that heading and your all set again.

What really struck me about this novel, besides the concept, is the poetic nature of the prose.  The story flows, with a kind of poetic beauty that I was absolutely not expecting.  Niffenegger also does a wonderful job of portraying both Clare and Henry in realistic, emotionally connective ways throughout the novel as their relationship grows and as they experience a great span of ages.

Today, as I reached the finish line, 50  pages left in the 519 page novel, I felt like I couldn’t wait to reach the conclusion and yet, I didn’t want to reach that end because that meant that this beautiful novel was done… I would never have the experience of reading it for the first time again!  I can’t even remember the last time I felt this sad about finishing a book!  I truly hope that Niffenegger continues to write and provides us readers with another fascinating novel soon!  Until then, we will have to be satisfied with spreading the word about The Time Traveler’s Wife and, soon, watching the movie… hopefully it can hold a candle to the novel!

Nic ~ I’m postive I am reading this book

14 03 2009

The Time Traveler’s Wife  by Audrey Niffenegger

So, everyone at work PROMISED me I will fall in love with this book, and were surprised I already hadn’t.  So i figured I had best get cracking.


A good 3 weeks later….

Wow. This book took me FOREVER to read.  I have never taken so long to read a book.  Ever.  But be certain that it was not for a lack of burning interest in the material.  It took so long because this book is SO intense.  I would read every 3 lines and then realize that I had to read it again, just to be sure that I had really taken all the words into account.  There are so many details, so many intricate happenings that draw you in.  I very quickly found myself pulled into the world that Niffenegger has crafted so masterfully.  This woman has in intense imagination!  Not only that, but she is so skilled, I started to think of this book as reality.  This book manages to intertwine 3 very different plot lines together, a science fiction time traveling thread, an in depth look at the human character, and a painfully beautiful love story.  And as it happens, I am a major fan of all 3 of these things.

We start of meeting Henry DeTamble, who through a genetic mutation randomly time travels.  And then we meet his 6 year old soon to be wife.  Except that at the time Henry is 36…but really only 8 years older than Clare…like I said; intense.  And so we begin to follow them, past, present, future, as they desperately try to navigate through their lives together.  Clare is stuck in the present, waiting for a man she’s known her whole life, for a man she loves, for a man she cannot exist without, and Henry bounces about time, relying on note from himself and chance meetings with Henry’s from other places in time.  We are shown the joys and many pains that have shaped their lives, the people who have come and gone and stayed that have shaped them into the people they have become.  You immediately want Henry to succeed.  He is self centered, shameless, violent and petty at times, but you know that he just has to succeed, just has to keep on going with this life.

You want nothing more than for Henry and Clare to  be able to be together, to be happy, to have one brief fleeting moment in which they can be together, be in the present, be careless and just love one another.  But Henry’s mutated cells do not just result in random time traveling , they also result in a seeming inability to produce a healthy child.  And so we begin on the next journey for the couple.  Pain and joy begin to flow mingled into one another, and these two are left navigating through a life they never had any say on while holding onto the few things they know are truth.  We follow as they slowly begin to watch Henry disintegrate, as his travels become more violent and unexpected.  Cures are sought, doctors convinced, and advice is given, but it seems little can be done.  And on to the next chapter in their lives; trying in vain to get ready for the end.

This story is at times confusing, joyous, depressing, violent, but always, always haunting.  The story seeps into you.  The characters are everywhere you look, their pains become real to you.  This story takes hold of you from the first page, grips you closely throughout, and at the end, won’t let you go.

I adore this book.  I know for a fact I will read it numerous times again.  The pages will become dog eared, the binding broken and beautiful.  Read this book if you believe in love.