We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Her Fearful Symmetry: A Novel | [Audrey Niffenegger]

Her Fearful Symmetry: A Novel

When Elspeth Noblin dies of cancer, she leaves her London apartment to her twin nieces, Julia and Valentina. These two American girls never met their English aunt; they only knew that their mother, too, was a twin, and Elspeth her sister. Julia and Valentina are semi-normal American teenagers - with seemingly little interest in college, finding jobs, or anything outside their cozy home in the suburbs of Chicago, and with an abnormally intense attachment to one another.
Regular Price:$31.93
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

When Elspeth Noblin dies of cancer, she leaves her London apartment to her twin nieces, Julia and Valentina. These two American girls never met their English aunt; they only knew that their mother, too, was a twin, and Elspeth her sister. Julia and Valentina are semi-normal American teenagers - with seemingly little interest in college, finding jobs, or anything outside their cozy home in the suburbs of Chicago, and with an abnormally intense attachment to one another.

The girls move to Elspeth's flat, which borders Highgate Cemetery in London. They come to know the building's other residents, including Martin, a brilliant and charming crossword-puzzle setter suffering from crippling Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; Marjike, Martin's devoted but trapped wife; and Robert, Elspeth's elusive lover, a scholar of the cemetery.

As the girls become embroiled in the fraying lives of their aunt's neighbors, they also discover that much is still alive in Highgate, including - perhaps - their aunt, who can't seem to leave her old apartment and life behind.

Niffenegger weaves a captivating story in Her Fearful Symmetry about love and identity, about secrets and sisterhood, and about the tenacity of life - even after death.

©2009 Audrey Niffenegger; (P)2009 Simon & Schuster

What the Critics Say

"[S]he has a knack for taking the romantic into the realm of creepiness, and she constructs a taut mystery around the secrets to be found in Elspeth's diaries and the lengths to which she will go to reunite with her younger lover. It's no small achievement that the revelations are both organic and completely unexpected." (The New Yorker)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (973 )
5 star
 (212)
4 star
 (332)
3 star
 (261)
2 star
 (114)
1 star
 (54)
Overall
3.6 (320 )
5 star
 (86)
4 star
 (100)
3 star
 (83)
2 star
 (33)
1 star
 (18)
Story
4.1 (310 )
5 star
 (127)
4 star
 (115)
3 star
 (54)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Jennie Knoxville , TN, USA 10-23-09
    Jennie Knoxville , TN, USA 10-23-09
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    1
    Overall
    "Fearful predictability"

    I really enjoyed the Time Traveler's Wife quite alot, but this follow-up was quite a disappointment. The novel started strong and about 1/4 of the way in I actually thought I was going to like it more than the Time Traveler's Wife. Unfortunately, when the "plot twists" and "revelations" started to be revealed about 1/2 way though, not a one of them were surprising and I had figured out almost every turn in the book well before the author had the reader arrive there. I found myself hoping something would happen that I didn't see coming throughout the entire second half all the way down to the last couple minutes. That thing never came, and that was detrimental... especially in such a plot heavy narration.
    The best part of this novel is the narrator, and for that I gave the audio book an extra star.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Rock Hill, SC, United States 10-22-09
    Susan Rock Hill, SC, United States 10-22-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    209
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    150
    67
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    14
    0
    Overall
    "Dragged and dragged!"

    After almost 3 hours of this book, I quit. I don't care for the characters or the plot. I have a 3 hour car trip tomorrow and decided I just couldn't do it w/ this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith Seaboyer 10-18-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    131
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    214
    28
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    1
    Overall
    "Not a patch on The Time Traveller's Wife"

    I was perfectly prepared to suspend disbelief for the Time Traveller, and I loved it, but the characters in this novel are just badly drawn, unsympathetic, unconvincing. The best thing about the novel is its great title. The idea of setting it in Hyde Park Cemetery is brilliant...everything else is ghastly. A boring, sordid little tale.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy Fairfax, VA, USA 10-16-09
    Judy Fairfax, VA, USA 10-16-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    37
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Seductive and Entertaining"

    Beautifully atmospheric and written with a keen ear for dialogue, I think Audrey Niffenegger's second novel is the best ghost story since Shirley Jackson's THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE. The story is sublime and full of surprises. The narration is superlative. I'm already looking forward to this author's next novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heather Spartanburg, SC, USA 10-14-09
    Heather Spartanburg, SC, USA 10-14-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Great Book & Narrator"

    I really enjoyed listening to this book. The narrator did a great job with the British and American accents. The story line was odd, just like Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife, but it was really a wonderful book! It kept my interest and I found myself trying to find housework to do so that I could listen to the book. A great listen!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindy 08-06-10
    Cindy 08-06-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    454
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Fearful?!"

    I loved The Time Traveler's Wife. This book started off okay and then deteriorated to beyond ludicrous. I was so disappointed.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Saint Paul, MN, United States 01-23-10
    Elizabeth Saint Paul, MN, United States 01-23-10 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    41
    1
    Overall
    "A bit of suspense, mystery, romance and humor"

    I really enjoyed listening to this book. The characters were well-developed and the relationships were interesting and complex. I found myself wanting to see the twin (Valentina) succeed. What a unique concept for a story - the imagination of the author never ceases to amaze me.

    What I like about Audrey Niffenager's books is that, they're not always about happy endings, yet you end up feeling satisfied. The characters push through an obstacle, maybe not getting what they want, but appreciating the conclusion and moving on with their lives.

    The narration was fine. There are some readers I enjoy more than others, but as long as they're not falsely dramatic, or there isn't too much "background music", I can listen to about anything.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anna Genoa, IL, United States 01-15-10
    Anna Genoa, IL, United States 01-15-10 Member Since 2009

    I love books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    53
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    139
    50
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable"

    Her Fearful Symmetry is an interesting story that is very well narrated. Some characters were more developed than others, and the story didn't take the path I would have chosen. However, it is well written and I was engaged throughout. I would recommend this audiobook.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carmen calgary, Alberta, Canada 11-26-09
    Carmen calgary, Alberta, Canada 11-26-09
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    1
    Overall
    "disappointing!"

    Victorian-inspired specters and suppressed emotional states meet 21st century love triangles and deep, dark family secrets. Sounds good, too bad it's not.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. J. Swan United States 12-04-09
    S. J. Swan United States 12-04-09 Member Since 2009

    S. J. Swan

    HELPFUL VOTES
    40
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    196
    34
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    "Not my cup of tea"

    I really loved the Time Traveler's wife, but I didn't like this book by Audrey Niffenegger. I didn't make sense to me and it was kind of depressing. Not worth a credit.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.