The Tiger’s Wife – book review

“In the end, all you want is someone to long for you when it comes time to put you in the ground.”
Tea Obreht, The Tiger’s Wife

The Tiger's Wife

The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Tiger’s Wife is a beautifully woven story by Téa Obreht.

Natalia, a young doctor, narrates the story of her grandfather’s life as she tries to unravel the mystery around his death. Filled with superstition, myth and fairy tales she weaves a tapestry of thoughts on death and dying, life and living in a war torn Balkan country.

Thought-provoking digressions in the main story line, such as; during the war Natalia, along with other students, meet up outside the Zoo in hopes of preventing a bombing near the zoo. Inside the zoo a nerve-racked tiger is practicing self-mutilation and the other animals are displaying signs of madness. This little tidbit illustrates how deeply war disturbs the normalcy of everyday life and to what lengths we will go to maintain that normalcy.

The narration is divided between the main story line with Susan Duerden and the grandfather’s story with Robin Sachs. Sachs deep, gruff voice lends a special tone to the story. I am looking forward to more stories from Obreht.

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