Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Coincidence in the Graveyard

Audrey Niffenegger's The Time Traveler's Wife is one of my favorite novels, so I had looked very much forward to her next book, Her Fearful Symmetry. Unfortunately, I was disappointed. It tells the story of a British woman who dis and leaves her London apartment to her two American nieces with the stipulation that they must live in the flat for a year in order to inherit it. Interestingly, her ghost resides in the flat and eventually makes contact with the twins and her former lover who lives downstairs. The premise is great; the book just didn't deliver. What did interest me, however, were all of Niffenegger's descriptions of London's Highgate Cemetery. Guess who else was inspired by that cemetery? Neil Gaiman when writing The Graveyard Book, which, if you've been reading this blog for the last month or so, you know I love. I imagine you are getting tired of hearing about it. Sorry. Reading Her Fearful Symmetry did give me more insight into Gaiman's graveyard. It inspired me to look up Highgate Cemetery's website which was helpful to my son for visualizing Gaiman's setting. It looks like a beautiful and fascinating place. Finally, exploring the website has me trying to figure out if we can squeeze a visit to Highgate into our upcoming family trip to London. Karl Marx is buried there after all. So I guess I did get a good deal out of a book I did not like too much.

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