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The Tiger's Wife
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message 1: by Diane, Armchair Tour Guide (new) - rated it 5 stars

Diane | 9385 comments Start discussion for The Tiger's Wife here.

message 2: by Connie (last edited Feb 21, 2012 04:24PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Connie (Connie_G) | 535 comments The Tiger's Wife is a combination of folklore, superstition, and magical realism interwoven with events from the wars fought in the Balkans. The author is a good storyteller with a vivid imagination.

message 3: by Dee (new) - added it

Dee (austhokie) | 430 comments i'm putting this one on hold until next month, because it fits into another challenge that starts then...but i'll def. comment when I finish

message 4: by Diane, Armchair Tour Guide (new) - rated it 5 stars

Diane | 9385 comments I will probably be late, too. I am on two waiting lists for the book, #9 on one and #11 on the other.

Saskia | 8 comments I've read this book over 6 months ago on my Kindle, and find it is an example of a book you DON'T want to read on a Kindle. eBooks work well for me for simpler fiction, but a book as involved, dense and with such beautiful language is not well served by the format. I can't go easily back to look at what I liked, found impressive, etc.

I gave the book 5 stars for several reasons:
- Exceptional writing
- It mixes memory, myth, folklore wit recent history, weaving a dense portrait of people over time
- It is unflinching and unsparing in its description of love, loss and hatred.
- It has elements of magic realism, especially in the character of death, but also in the search of bones, the elephant crossing town, and more.
- Although confusing to me at first, I liked that we don't know which country we are in. It becomes clear that it is the Balkan war, which turned friends and neighbors into enemies based on religion and old national values. This could happen anywhere, as we also saw in WWII, and so leaving the country nameless is fitting. It is human behavior...

It's simply a beautiful book, emotionally rich, deeply layered and quite unforgettable.

Jenclone | 78 comments I found this book incredibly beautiful as well. I was fascinated by the way the mythic stories were intertwined with the main character's life... it felt as though we were invited on her inner journey, as she grappled with her heritage.

message 7: by Sue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue | 247 comments When you all read The Tiger's Wife for your group read in February, I was not yet a member of this group - but, I read it for another group this past month (a March-April group read) ...

I am so interested in books set in this part of the world! (Balkans, East Central Europe, former Ottoman Empire, former Byzantine Empire...)

I loved Téa Obreht's storytelling. There are a lot of individual strands in this book, and each strand is an interesting and wonderfully descriptive story in itself. I thought that the individual strands, however, were better than the way the entire story came together - I think I needed the connections spelled out a little more within the overall story.

But, I still thought this was a four-star book, if not quite a five-star for me!

Jenclone | 78 comments Sue, I'm glad you went ahead and commented - I really want to read most of the group reads, but I'm months behind. Poor planning, I guess. :)

That's a good point about appreciating individual strands of story as opposed to the whole thing. I like finding different ways to enjoy a book!

message 9: by Diane, Armchair Tour Guide (new) - rated it 5 stars

Diane | 9385 comments Wow. I finally got hold of a copy and read it. So worth the wait. Obreht writes so beautifully and the book was just incredible. I am surprised the book has received so many poor reviews (who are these people, anyway????). Granted, I usually don't like books that deviate from the main story line for side stories, but the author managed this superbly. I agree with Sue that the individual strands were better than the main story line. I loved the stories about the tiger and the deathless man. The book was simply outstanding on so many levels. It had all the elements I love in a book. I look forward to reading more from this author. She is quite young, so hopefully we will see a good many books from her.

message 10: by Anne (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anne (papergirl42) | 279 comments Anne ...The Tiger's Wife
Exceptionally written book. The descriptions were so detailed yet not burdensome to read . All of my senses were affected. Turn to any page and read....Tea paints pictures so clear and colorful. The restraint the author used throughout the book to not reveal too much or overstate everything made for compelling Reading. The ending is a fine example where the reader must stretch his mind and memory's to consider who Dr. Natalia has been following and encounters in the abandoned hillside village. Another aspect of the style is the sentence structure which is extremely varied.

The other technique that the author uses is the vagueness of the place. We know that the setting is the Balkans but there is no real, exact location noted. It is "everyplace." It reminds me that the borders of that region have been in flux forever and that this tale could have happened anywhere in that region.

I also read about the enmity among the religious groups -- especially Muslims v. Catholics. This was a minor part of the story yet did provide some tension.

message 11: by Anne (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anne (papergirl42) | 279 comments Anne The Tiger's
One additional thought .....what happened to grandfather's copy of The Jungle Book?

Jessica | 454 comments I finished the book and loved it!

I thought that the "side" stories were actually quite relevant to the "main" story line. Rather, they all form the whole of it. The story of Natalia going across the border to provide medical relief, and finding out about her grandfather's death, sets the backdrop for her recollection of grandfather's stories about the deathless man. The story of the tiger's wife is actually pieced together by Natalia after she finds the picture amongst her grandfather's belongings, and travelled to Galina. She spoke to the people there and they told her their stories too, which arises in the "side" stories in the book.

Grandfather probably met the deathless man before his death and gave the Jungle Book to him.

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