Brenda's Reviews > Moon Tiger

Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively
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's review
Sep 29, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: women-s-fiction, war-fiction, historical-fiction
Read in September, 2011

Need an example of a flawed character? Penelope Lively created one in Claudia Hampton, a historian who is dying of cancer. Laying in her hospital bed, drifting in and out of consciousness, and skipping through her 70 plus years with no regards to chronology, Claudia decides to write a history of the world with herself as the main character. Featured in this history are the main players in Claudia's life: her brother Gordon, daughter Lisa and others, but above all her ex-lover Tom Southern. At the heart of this novel is Claudia's remembrance of her time with Tom in Egypt during World War II. This story of what happens in Egypt goes a long way towards explaining why Claudia Hampton is the way she is. The most heartbreaking part of this novel is, in my opinion, when Claudia wonders what Tom would make of the woman she has become. I usually have a hard time reading a novel which features a character I can not stand. Claudia is self-centered, arrogant, and a very bad mother. She is also brilliant and fascinating. In her lovely prose, Lively creates a character that you probably will not like but respect.
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