(Her) Fearful (Symmetry)

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I was looking forward to reading Audrey Niffenegger’s  Her Fearful Symmetry, and I was seriously contemplating buying a copy (20% off at National Book Store using the Laking National Card) when my boss lent me her copy to review.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Time Traveler’s Wife; I remember seeing it on a display shelf, reading the blurb, buying it straightaway (those were the days when my TBR was at a manageable figure I could count with my fingers!) and peeling off the plastic wrap as soon as I crossed the threshold!

I also have Niffenegger’s The Three Incestuous Sisters (one of her two illustrated novels) which showcases beautiful and haunting aquatint art, albeit the bizarre story.

Like many others I was waiting for her second novel, Her Fearful Symmetry, and wondering what was in store this time around…

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The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

Diane Setterfield’s The Thirteenth Tale is a treat for book lovers everywhere. It’s a present-day gothic novel with rich characters, family secrets, and cunning stories.
Margaret Lea is an avid reader, especially of old novels and journals. A bookseller’s daughter, she practically grew up in her dad’s antiquarian bookstore, and dabbles in writing biographies of people long dead, people who come alive in the books she reads.

One day she receives a letter from Vida Winter, a famous yet reclusive writer whose life is shrouded in mystery — all the existing accounts of her life are different yarns she has spun at her whim. She has never told the truth about her life, until now, when she decided to contact Margaret to write her biography.

Margaret has never read Vida Winter’s work, and she is hesitant. She searches the bookstore’s shelves for a first edition of Vida Winter’s book, Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation. She reads the book and is gripped by the first twelve tales, and when she turns the next page, she discovers that the thirteenth tale is missing.

Determined to find out about the thirteenth tale and the truth to Vida Winter’s life, Margaret Lea decides to accept the project. Vida Winter tells Margaret a haunting tale about an estate in the moors, twin girls, a governess and a ghost. As the dying author’s story unfolds, Margaret’s own family secrets surface, and she comes face to face with the past that has always haunted her.

Very very interesting :)

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My copy: trade paperback (bought full-price at Powerbooks) upgraded into a hardcover with dustjacket (from the NBS hardbound sale)

My rating: 4/5 stars

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