The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACategory: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Cultural: Yugoslavia
Author: Tea Obreht

This one of those books which has a lot of critical acclaim in terms of literary awards but isn’t that highly rated on Goodreads and I can imagine why. The narrative is not linear and really meanders, back and forth in timeline & there are so many parallel tales, so it can get confusing. But I still felt it was such an interesting read as it offers so much. It encapsulates the delicate relationship between a grandfather and his granddaughter, the impact of war in daily life and the changes it brings, and how people try and cling on to normalcy despite the death & destruction around. Obviously, tigers are integral to the story which is one of the reasons drawn to picking it up and there are several references to Shere Khan from the Jungle book. There are also parallel tales of the deathless man, a vagabond said to be immortal, another about this invincible bear hunter. And the significance of these different stories tie in together towards the end to reveal the tale of the Tiger’s wife. All in all, this book offers so much and despite its flaws, I still enjoyed it, and would recommend it especially if you find the premise interesting.

And for a debut novel, it’s just unbelievable.


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