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The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht
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's review
Oct 08, 2011

it was amazing
Read in October, 2011

How to describe this wonderful book? It is, for one thing, an amalgam of the traditional stories from the author's birth home in the former Yugoslavia, but it is much more than that. It is a cohesive novel in its own right, but it is much more than that, as well. This is a luminous, poetic, accomplished piece of writing, all the more astonishing as it comes from a woman so young, and one whose first language is not English.

The framing story is that of a young woman, Natalia, and her relationship with her grandfather, a prominent physician in the country before it was torn apart by war. Natalia, too, chooses to become a physician. She grows from a child to a young woman throughout the book. But this story truly is mostly a frame for the wonderful, magical stories she lets many different characters tell. These are stories of pain, struggle, war, and death, to be sure, but they are also stories of hope, grace, generosity, and love.

And it is a story of tigers, one in particular, and the woman who became his wife. You will have to read it to find out just what that means, of course, by why wouldn't you?

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