Owen Curtsinger's Reviews > The Tiger's Wife

The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht
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's review
Mar 16, 11

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites
Read from March 07 to 16, 2011

This book is hard for me to come up with words about right now for two reasons: because I just finished it twenty minutes ago and it is perhaps my most favorite novel ever. But I'm going to try to write a few thoughts while it's lingering in my mind.

This book is about age, about stories, and about holding onto the intangible wonder behind folktales and dreams. I don't want to disclose much of the actual plot of the Tiger's wife or the narrator's grandfather; in fact, I tried not to read any of the many reviews of the book as I was reading so that I wouldn't be swayed by any plot points given away. But the images of people, wilderness, and wartime as they interact with each other in the countryside are so simply and powerfully written that it's hard to believe that Obreht is just 25 years old. She's developed a voice that describes things with a feeling of timelessness, as you'd expect from much more mature writers, and she isn't swayed by the practices of other young writers whose tendencies to throw a narrative curveball or bit of obscure genius often comes across to me as pretentious.

It's highly readable and plainspoken, yet there is such a wonderful sense of mysticism woven into the language and images that it stands apart from so many other novels being published today. I almost never read books a second time but I will definitely return to this one again someday.

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