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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger. (Synopsis)

 I just finished reading Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger, the author of The Time Traveler's Wife. It was.......... a very interesting read and I would like to share the story with you guys here for those who're too lazy to read it. Hahahahaa!

It is one of those books that doesn't have synopsis printed at the back, I bought it at the roadside in Shanghai because I LOVE The Time Traveler's Wife. Somehow, if you love a certain book written by a certain author, you took interest in the other books he/she writes. :D So I got it home.

My synopsis of the story (Spoiler ALERT! Don't read it if you're going to read the book!):

Elspeth Noblin died  of leukemia and her lover, Robert grieved for her. She used to have a twin, Edie and they didn't contact each other for many years for an unknown reason. She kept it a secret and nobody knew. Elspeth left her estate for her twin's daughters (who're also twins), Julia and Valentina, but they have to stay in the flat for 1 year before they can sell it. The thing is, after her death, Elspeth's ghost still stay in the flat and she couldn't get out of it.

When the twins arrived, Robert started to fall in love with Valentina, the nicer sister of the twins. He didn't realise Elspeth's ghost was watching all these and she was hurt. Slowly Elspeth gained strength and could communicate to the twins and Robert by moving things around. Robert was stuck between loving a living virgin and a phantom lover.

At the same time, Valentina was having issues with her twins, Julia. Julia was the bossy twins and she wanted them to always stick together and do everything together. Valentina always relented, but she realised she wanted her own life without Julia when she started to fall in love with Robert. Julia wouldn't let her, she wanted them to stay together forever. Then Valentina get this idea of faking death and regain a new identity. With that she needs Elspeth's help. Elspeth can take out her soul and put it back to the body after she's confirmed dead and buried. Then if Julia thinks she's dead, Valentina can have a whole new life ahead of her without being with Julia after her resurrection. It sounded like the perfect plan.

However innocent Valentina had no idea what Elspeth had in mind. Elspeth knew the whole idea wouldn't work, because when a soul left a body, it got weak and needed a long time to get stronger again before it could get back into a body, but oh she planned. And she managed to persuade Robert to help them too.

Robert didn't think it was a good idea at all. It sounded too risky, but Valentina insisted and Elspeth was really eager to help her too. So after Elspeth has taken Valentina's soul out, Robert contacted his friend at the cemetery to help freeze Valentina's corpse throughout the whole funeral process.

At night, Robert sneaked into the cemetery and retrieved Valentina's corpse back into the twins' flat. After a few minutes, the corpse came back to life, but something in the way she spoke and the way she looked at Robert made him felt that something was wrong. It was not Valentina. Elspeth had gotten inside Valentina's body instead. She betrayed her because she wanted Robert for herself and couldn't stand seeing Robert falling in love with her niece.

Robert was more devastated when he found out about Elspeth's family secret. Elspeth has a twin called Edie and Edie's husband is Jack. Elspeth has never tell anyone WHY she doesn't contact her twins after all these years. After her death, she left her diaries to Robert and Robert neglected them. It was only before the Valentina's dying plan that Robert thought of reading it and he was shocked to find out a dark secret. 

Julia and Valentina are actually Elspeth's own daughters. When she was in her twenties, Elspeth got drunk and accidentally slept with her twin's (Edie) husband and got pregnant. Even though Edie was devastated, she wanted Elspeth to give birth to the babies and after giving birth, Elspeth left the city and didn't contact her twin afterwards.

So now you know, Elspeth actually KILLED her own daughter and take over her body just because she couldn't bear to see Robert falling in love with Valentina. 

The story ends with Robert leaving the pregnant Elspeth because he couldn't stand the guilt of being a part of this murder of the girl he loved, and he realised the woman he once loved was just a cold-blooded, selfish woman.

The story is so dark, interesting, and twisted. It gave me a very dark lingering feeling after I finished it. :( And I got moody all day. It writes about the connection between a pair of twins, the different kinds of love, and what some people will do in order to get the things they want. It was a heart-twisting, creepy and painful novel. I guess I did have an engaging read, but I don't like the dreaded feeling it puts me in after reading. :( 

Anyway you guys can go have a read if you like ghosts and dark stories! :)

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