Maria's Reviews > The Tiger's Wife

The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht
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's review
Jul 18, 2012

it was ok
bookshelves: fiction
Recommended to Maria by: It received good reviews
Recommended for: I wouldn't
Read from July 12 to 15, 2012 , read count: 1

I’m glad that I read this book because there were so many good reviews of it. I’m torn between giving it a 2/5 stars, and a 3/5 stars. The 2/5 star rating is for strategic writing, the 3/5 star rating is for description. It was a quick read because the scenes and stories described were interesting.

At first I thought that all of the mythical interweaving stories were carefully masterminded, and that they leant themselves to discussion; at some point the answers to questions would surface. However, after further consideration I realized that there weren’t any answers, and that with continued reading there were not only questions of how a sub-story would end, but also questions of the value of adding a sub-story to the book in the first place.

For instance, the grandfather ate what could have been his last meal at a restaurant specifically because he spent his honeymoon there. Upon knowing this fact, what is the value of his last meal being at a place of his honeymoon considering that he didn’t ask his wife to go with him, and the history of his marriage wasn’t explored?

The relationships of the grandmother, and the daughter with the grandfather and the main character weren’t explored-what was their value? Who is the dad of the tiger wife’s baby? It can’t be the tiger . . .was the tiger wife just a symbol? There were a few wars/WWII, and more current wars referenced in the book-which one is reflected in the tiger/bear fighting? I’m sure the tiger/bear fight was a religious metaphor, but if the bear was first a man, and the tiger was raised by man, does this play a role in that fight? Or, are they just a bear/tiger fighting?

There is too much attention paid to myth. I recognize that it’s big-bucks nowadays, but it gives writers a mistaken feeling that creating a myth, displaying creative prowess, is the same as displaying writing skill. There has to be some semblance that the direction of the story makes sense.

Animals were revered throughout the book, the tiger, the elephant, the dog, and others. As they were perceptive, and responded to the war with self-destruction, were they used as the voice of humans who wouldn’t face the reality of war?

Would I read it again: No
Would I recommend it: No
Was the prose elevated to prose: There was good word choice; it resulted in a quick read.

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