I’m even? more behind on my book reading than I was before. Argh!
I picked up The Tiger’s Wife after seeing Cara had read it and posted on Goodreads about it. It managed to make my 3rd queued book my Kindle with Tiger in the title 😆 It was an enthralling read from start to finish, a real joy to disappear into. Getting to the end of it was a serious disappointment as I could happily have carried on enjoying the story. I think my disappointment was only made greater by discovering that the author is younger than me, younger even than my baby brother (!) and frankly, that just makes me insanely jealous of her talent!
The Tiger’s Wife is the story of a young female medic in a country which is certainly Yugoslavia after the war, though it isn’t specifically identified. It is also the story of her grandfather, his life and past and the people of the country they grew up in and explores the relationship between them within their family. Wider than that, the story utilises myths and fairy tales and superstitions that are as common is Europe as they are anywhere in the world. Mixed together inside a story that deals with the fairly brutal reality of a country torn apart by war and racial divide, it cleverly manages to make the stories not just morals, nor even allegories, but an integral and even believable part of the main plot. The deathless man, the tiger and even the histories of some of the supporting characters wove a story of great intensity which was also, in some strange way, extremely entertaining.
I loved the sense of history The Tiger’s Wife had and the sense of a community of people stitched together and ripped apart over centuries of controversy and border changes. I loved that the book was unsentimental about its themes but nonetheless made them seem incredibly important to me. One thing this book had in abundance was passion for the subject matter and it will be interesting to see if she produces more writing of the same quality. I really hope she does.