Sunday, December 20, 2009

Her Fearful Symmetry

Hi, so I had this idea to start a blog book club...sounded good right? I don't know who I was kidding, I don't have time for that! Ahh, wishful thinking... Anyways, this was the first book I was reading, so I figured I would do my review and questions here. If any of you have read it, I would love to hear what you think. It was an interesting book!

This was a beautiful story about the interconnectedness of life and family, even into death. It shows the connections between twins and the ways that they can be both captivating and painfully stiffling. Niffenegger presents such rich characters and eloquently describes the relationships between them. One aspect of this book that I particularly loved was the ambiguous way that she played around the idea of death and life afterwards. It was a fantastic way to present the topic in a way that leaves the reader questioning the world as they know it.

Questions: (warning; if you have not read the book, these will spoil it...stop now!!!)

1) Who did you sympathize with more, Julia or Valentina? Did your sympathies change as the story moved on?

2) Do you believe in ghosts? If not, how did you feel about the concept being presented in this book? How do you feel about the idea of ghosts now?

3) Do you think Elspeth intended to take Valentina's body all along? What do you think of her decision?

4) How do you conceptualize the relationships between twins? Do you think this was a relevant depiction?

5) What do you think of Valentina's nickname "mouse" and how if fit her in the begining as compared to the end?

6) What are your thoughts on Martin?!

7) How do you think the "secret" between Elspeth and Eddie affected each character in the book? What do you think of the decision that they made?

8) Finally, did you like the book?

Answer some, answer all, make up your own, review the book...whatever! I will post my answers in a comment form, so as to not sway anybody's thoughts :)


crystal said...

My answers/thoughts:
1) I completely sided with Valentina! I think I just felt more connected to her, always the follower. I could almost feel her pain in feeling trapped. Although her way out was a bit extreme, I could see how she got there and could think that it was the only way. Julia kind of annoyed me!

2) I am ambiguous about ghosts. I don't actively believe in them, but I am definitely open to their existence. I liked the way they were presented in this book; just there, not scary...that kind of ghost form I have more faith in. I believe that there is so much more to this world than we are aware of and we have no right to say that we know all of what is out there.

4) I think twins are a different breed! I think this depiction was slightly exaggerated, but I do believe that they tend to have a stronger bond than ordinary siblings.

6) I loved Martin!! I tend to gravitate towards quirky people and characters though. I think Niffenegger presented a good depiction of OCD also, granted this is a severe form and unmedicated, but still very good portrayal. Plus, I love that he made crossword puzzles :)

7) I do think the "secret" affected everyone. I actually loved that about the book. I find it amazing to think about the fact that we are all connected in some way; everything we do will somehow affect someone else, which will affect someone else, and on and on. That is quite profound if you think about it. I like how she presented it though in small parts throughout the book as a way to show the ripple effect.

8) Yes, I really liked the book. I love stories like this that make you think about ideas that are bigger than yourself. I really like her writting style too. Highly recommended!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I'm skipping over the questions, etc since I haven't read it yet! It's no my to read list but I just didn't get around to it this month!

I really wanted to read this along with you but the month of December has been crazy. I haven't even finished a single book this month & I usually read about a book/week... So yah, really not a good reading book for me!!

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