May 10, 2011

Recently Read - The Tiger's Wife

The Tiger's Wife, by Tea Obreht.  This is a complex book, and it makes it difficult to describe.  There are three main storylines, and it can be difficult to keep up if you are not able to devote adequate time to reading.  It's not a book you can just pop in and out of.  The narrator, Natalia Stefavoni, is a doctor working in the Balkans.  She is on her way to an orphanage to deliver medicine when she learns her grandfather has died.  The book is a reflection on her grandfather's life and her relationship with him.

The writing is exquisite, and the stories are intriguing and beautiful.  Some of the characters, including the narrator, are less developed than I'd want them to be.  The descriptions of places and events, however, are told in fantastic detail, and it is easy to obtain her vision.  I was enthralled in the book and fascinated by it.  In the end, I'll admit I was slightly disappointed, because I didn't feel like there was a single unifying theme or conclusion.  But perhaps that's okay.  I'd still recommend it to anyone.

Here's the NY Times Book Review if you'd like to read more.


  1. eek! i need a new book and this one has gone to the top of my list. thanks for posting about it! :)

  2. I could not put this book down. The weaving of the Balkan Wars, past and recent, with Slavic tales and myths, created a feel for the region and its people that all of the current histories cannot. The locales are thinly disguised, and easily recognized if one has traveled the region, as Yugoslavia, or in its present configuration. But geography is not necessary or central. The characters evolve in a way the is almost magical. That so young an author could have such a feel for the human soul at all stages of life amazes me. Her future work will be much anticipated. Website


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