This is a book I picked up at the airport on my way to Australia – indeed a long flight ahead of me, so a good read was required. And indeed the read was good. I read it cover to cover (well I had the time) and enjoyed every part of it. So here is the Book Review of The Tiger’s Wife.
First the story.
The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht is a story set in both the present and past in a fictional part of the Balkans. It is the story of a doctor and her special relationship to her grandfather and the stories from his life that he shares with her – primarily focussing on a never dying man that he meets several times in his life and the story about a death mute girl in his village that befriends an escaped Tiger.
What made this book so appealing to me?
Well, I think it was a number of things.
To begin with, I think relationships between children (or adults) and their grandparents frequently are something very special. Grandparents and their grandchildren just seem to connect on a different level. The grandparent has the time and experience to devote themselves to their grand children with love and enthusiasm. And to children, their grandparents are just wonderful beings who love them, play with them and tell them stories. I know that not all grandparents are like this.. but l like the idea of these relationships and enjoy reading about them.
The Title – the title is intriguing and leaves you wanting to find out more.. what does the other mean by a “Tiger’s Wife”? Surely she doesn’t REALLY mean a tiger’s wife? What is the story all about? The story about the deaf mute girl, could almost be a book by itself. You are left wanting to hear more and more and really connect with the fate and plight of the girl.
The deathless man. Now this IS an interesting part of the book. What or who is the deathless man? And what is the author trying to tell us by introducing this character? At time it verges on the religious to me, but then not at all, on the contrary almost a bit blasphemous This is the part of the story, that I think you just have to read, be intrigued and enjoy. It is mysterious and strange and holds a key to the young doctor’s own plight and story. I was never good at literature and analysis at school.. so I don’t even want to try and begin to dissect this here. If you don’t like “inexplicable parts” in books or strange story lines, then this MAY distract your enjoyment of the book a little. I say take it at face value and enjoy the strangeness of it – I did!
Page turner: 7/10 (I enjoyed reading, read it quickly, but not as quickly as some other books I have devoured)
Story line: 9/10 (original story for sure, especially about the Tiger’s Wife and what happens to her)
The ending: 9/10 (an ending that left me satisfied)