Claudia's Reviews > The Tiger's Wife

The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht
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's review
Oct 13, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: 2011-book-challenge-150-books, historical-fiction
Read from October 13 to 19, 2011

I've waited several days after I finished this one to write about it...I know I'm missing huge parts of the story, and I'm absolutely mystified about how a 25-year-old can fashion a story with these layers...Natalia, a young physician, is traveling to a small village in the Balkans to vaccinate the children. While there, she discovers her beloved grandfather, also a physician, has died, supposedly on his way to help her. Natalia's story is told in first person, parts of the grandfather's story is told in first person. She abandons her task to inoculate the children to track down the tiny village in which her grandfather died, and pick up his effects, including his copy of THE JUNGLE BOOK, a book she knows is dear to his heart.

The book is gone. Mysteries abound.

Natalia remembers her times with her the zoo, watching the tiger, at their summer home. She remembers stories he's told her about his childhood and about the Deathless Man he's met several times in his own career.

Natalia also travels to her grandfather's first home and cobbles together the story of his childhood, and the story of the Tiger and his Wife...

Layers and layers of story...magic, supernatural events. Spiritualism, the realities of a war in the Balkans that literally never ends. First person, third person, present tense and past tense.

In some ways,there's too much going on here...and in others, it's beautifully simple.

And my question remains: How can a first-time novelist hold all these strings and control her narrative?

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Reading Progress

10/13/2011 page 51
15.0% "I need to read this National Book Award finalist!"
10/17/2011 page 135
40.0% "I don't know where this is going, but I'm liking the journey."
10/18/2011 page 256
76.0% "I'm in awe of this storyteller..."

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