Although the structure of this book felt very different from that of The Time Traveler’s Wife, both books brought out a similar feeling in me – a simultaneous fascination and eye-roll. Fascination because you want to find out how these characters will react to their circumstances as well as where on earth the story is headed, and an eye-roll because things are a little over the top. Here, the over the top comes from the twin-ishness of the twins and a certain plot point that I never quite bought (but won’t spoil). Otherwise, the world of the story is wonderfully described – the apartments and cemetery both feel tangible – and many of the characters are complex and quirky (without being too quirky). It’s a good novel to sink into when you’re in the mood to suspend your disbelief and go along for the ride, when you want an absorbing story, a hint of the supernatural, and some atmosphere.
Source: public library
I’ve been on a big fat novel kick lately, and I blame this book for starting it – since this one, I’ve read Connie Willis’ Passage (funnier, but still big and fat) and Elizabeth Kostova’s The Swan Thieves, which I just recently finished (and which takes itself even more seriously than Her Fearful Symmetry). Now I’m finding it harder to get lost in the children’s books that have been piling up, however excellent they are, and I’m scheming which novely-novel to dive into next. I’ve got Nick Hornby’s newest waiting on hold, but I don’t know if it fits the mold I’m looking for. Any suggestions? Something satisfyingly oomphy and emotional, good characters, that kind of thing? A proper grown-up book?