Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Tiger's Wife

The Tiger’s Wife is a very interesting book.  In fact, I can’t stop thinking about it.  Really. The story is set in an unnamed country in the Balkans that has been suffering from war. The main character is a young woman, a physician who travels across the new border to immunize orphans when she learns that her beloved grandfather has died.  There is some mystery associated with his death and the story winds back and forth between Natalie's efforts in the village with the orphans, her efforts to retrieve his possessions from the clinic where he died and the stories her grandfather told her throughout her life.  The stories taught Natalie about the "deathless man" and the "tiger's wife," both tales of events that the involved the grandfather himself when he was younger. 

I have to confess that I didn't always understand this book but it is beautifully written and obviously quite thought provoking. I enjoyed all parts of the book and I have decided that I don't have to be able to explain or make sense of everything I read in order to enjoy it. You will interpret this story in a way that makes sense to you.

The Tiger's Wife is the debut novel by Tea Obrecht, a young woman herself who was born in the former Yugoslavia and came to America with her family when she was 12 years old.  In 2011 she won the Orange Prize for Fiction (now called the Women's Prize for Fiction).  This prize is given annually to the "best full-length novel written in English by a woman of any nationality."  Think about it.  The best novel written by a woman in 2011. Really!

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