I've read two books lately- Dan Brown's "The Lost Symbol" and Audrey Niffenegger's "Her Fearful Symmetry". When I read books now, I really try hard to read from an author's perspective- looking for things like, what makes this book good? Why am I interested?
Audrey Niffenegger is so different. I loved "The Time Traveller'sWife". It was heart-wrenchingly sad and for some reason I like stories like that. They resonate with me. "Her Fearful Symmetry" was different. It started slow, and yet I kept reading. I wondered why. What was making me flip the pages into the late hours of the night? The entire first part of the book was basically back story- something that an author is NEVER supposed to do. And yet it worked. I wasn't bored. I didn't find excuses to do anything other than read. So why did I like it? Why was it good?
I think the main thing is her characters. They are always very well done. You care about them, you identify with them, even when they are almost un-identifiable. Like Henry the time-traveller. Or Claire- his wife. Or in this book, the twins- Julia and Valentina. And Martin- their OCD neighbour. I've obviously never been a twin. And even though I've joked that I have OCD before (something I will never do again after reading that book), I don't even close to suffering from that disorder. But yet I felt the characters, I found them interesting and complex in their differences from me, and I understood them. That is something for sure.
I have to say I was a little disappoinetd wth the ending. Although I could see what was coming with Valentina, I still wasn't happy with it. Maybe because in this case I wanted this happy ending and I didn't get it. Sure, things were wrapped up mostly (I'm still wondering about Robert), but I was left wanting. And thinking. And that in itself shows that she's a good author. That she captured me and led me into her world and I'm not quite ready to leave it, even though I'm done the book.
Anyway, I'm left feeling... ? I not only finished that book today but I finished another edit on my own. So now I feel sort of like I'm missing something, sort of hopeful and sad at the same time, and ready to head to the library for something new to read so I can get lost in another world.