Karen morsecode's Reviews > Tigers in Red Weather

Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann
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's review
Aug 04, 2012

Like Wish You Were Here by Stewart O'Nan, which I posted about earlier this month (see post), Tigers in Red Weather concerns itself with an extended family and their interpersonal relationships using time spent together at a summer cottage (this time on Martha's Vineyard) as a catalyst.  The novel is also told variously from the perspectives of the individual family members, but Tigers in Red Weather has a series of first-person narrators rather than one third person omniscient.

While Wish You Were Here takes place over a single week, Tigers in Red Weather unfolds over twenty-plus years. From the end of World War through the late 1960s (with a bit of a flashback to the war years), Tigers in Red Weather follows first (female) cousins Nick and Helena (and Nick's husband Hugh) as they adjust to post-war and married life. Their children Ed and Daisy join the narrative as they reach the age of reason, spending their summers at Tiger House.

Throughout the novel there's an air of mystery and deep-seated secrets. One summer there's a murder on the Vineyard, and while that adds to the intrigue, it's never really a question of whodunnit. Rather the focus of Tigers in Red Weather is on interfamilial deceptions, the lies individual characters tell themselves and each other.

Unfortunately, it was difficult to connect with any of the central characters. Two of them were repugnant the majority of the time. The others ranged from generally likeable to vaguely incomprehensible, but all suffered from some level of inconsistency within their characters that made them at best unsympathetic, but at worst unbelievable.

I will say that the novel's unending is unexpected and quite well done.

Read the full review on my blog: morsie reads: Tigers in Red Weather.

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