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Have you ever read a book and wondered at the end if you liked it or not? The first 300 pages or so of Niffenegger's latest novel were fantastic; the characters, the setting, and the plot all carried a gothic feel that I love in fiction tales. The air of mystery provided by family relationships made the book even more intriguing, and I powered through most of the novel in one sitting.

Then I came to the final 100 pages or so of the book, and I feel like everything just started to unr...more
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger
2009
General Fiction
406 pages

* * * * * Best of 2009 According to Books on the Nightstand Podcast/Blog Followers * * * * *

Have you ever read a book and wondered at the end if you liked it or not? The first 300 pages or so of Niffenegger's latest novel were fantastic; the characters, the setting, and the plot all carried a gothic feel that I love in fiction tales. The air of mystery provided by family relationships made the book even more intriguing, and I powered through most of the novel in one sitting.

Then I came to the final 100 pages or so of the book, and I feel like everything just started to unravel. Things got a little too bizarre for me, but without the charm she created in The Time Traveler's Wife. I began to dislike all of the characters and the plot itself. which became weird and twisted with elements of the macabre, but not in a good way that I have seen executed in other novels. I am a huge fan of magical realism and use of the supernatural in books (Garden Spells, Like Water for Chocolate, A Certain Slant of Light) but I don't think it was effective in this story. I found myself cringing and sad that the book was spiraling downward after 300 pages of invested time.

When I finished the last page, I literally thought, "Hmm." Sometimes I feel like an author's control over our emotions can make the book even more powerful and a better read. I like when an author can make me turn on characters and whatnot, but I just don't think it worked for me in this book that I so wanted to love.

The first 300 or so pages I was thinking "5 stars" and the ending has dropped it to 3.

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Comments

Lynn

03/13/2010 07:31:28

I had the exact same reaction as you to this book. Started out thinking it would be very good, but by the end I didn't care for it.

 

04/19/2010 18:40:13

I felt exactly the same way.

 



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