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It would be nice to rate the first 2/3 of the book and the last 1/3 separately. Four and a half stars and then one star. It felt kind of like fourth grade...you work really hard on a story, it is going well, then you get tired of doing it and go for a bizarre ending to get out of having to think anymore. Kind of like, "and then the aliens landed and all the pilgrims were eaten by carnivorous plants." If this book were discussed in a Thursday Next (Jasper Fforde) novel, they would probably say that the author had bought a cheap and ridiculous plot device to get out of finishing it. What a waste of interesting characters and complex issues. Could have been great.
22 of 23 people found this review helpful
I loved "Time Traveler's Wife" and was really excited to get this book when it came out. I was less excited by the time I finished the book.
"Her Fearful Symmetry" started off well - interesting characters, a mysterious conflict, unusual demands in a will. By the end, however, things had become so preposterous that I was peeved.
It wasn't the supernatural elements that were preposterous - like "Time Traveler's Wife", the not-real-life (paranormal) setup was good. If you were willing to suspend disbelief for a little, the situation was believable.
What didn't make sense were the choices the characters made. For example, and without giving away too much, the huge dissatisfaction that one of the main characters experienced pretty much came out of nowhere - and the character's idea for resolving it was just nuts.
On the other hand, the narrator was really good. Her switching between accents was surprisingly good and her characterizations were very believable.
On balance, I guess I enjoyed the book - there were enough good parts to it. I am disappointed that it didn't stick together well enough in the last third, but I like Niffenegger's writing enough that I'm sure I'll read her next book.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful