The Tigers Wife

I had such a nice time talking about my last book “The Book Thief” that I decided this will be a continued topic in my blog – What I read and my reaction to it is a huge part of my time and who I am, and I think that it will be a great way to allow people into that very private and vulnerable part of my mind and how I think. What better way to get to know me than to see the world (at least the written world) through my eyes.

So, our next book is The Tigers Wife by Téa Obreht. For whatever reason, I keep finding myself reading about War and the people that it so deeply affects. Here is a brief little blurb about the story from Amazon

Weaving a brilliant latticework of family legend, loss, and love, Téa Obreht, the youngest of The New Yorker’s twenty best American fiction writers under forty, has spun a timeless novel that will establish her as one of the most vibrant, original authors of her generation.

In a Balkan country mending from years of conflict, Natalia, a young doctor, arrives on a mission of mercy at an orphanage by the sea. By the time she and her lifelong friend Zóra begin to inoculate the children there, she feels age-old superstitions and secrets gathering everywhere around her. Secrets her outwardly cheerful hosts have chosen not to tell her. Secrets involving the strange family digging for something in the surrounding vineyards. Secrets hidden in the landscape itself.

But Natalia is also confronting a private, hurtful mystery of her own: the inexplicable circumstances surrounding her beloved grandfather’s recent death. After telling her grandmother that he was on his way to meet Natalia, he instead set off for a ramshackle settlement none of their family had ever heard of and died there alone. A famed physician, her grandfather must have known that he was too ill to travel. Why he left home becomes a riddle Natalia is compelled to unravel.

Grief struck and searching for clues to her grandfather’s final state of mind, she turns to the stories he told her when she was a child. On their weeklytrips to the zoo he would read to her from a worn copy of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, which he carried with him everywhere; later, he told her stories of his own encounters over many years with “the deathless man,” a vagabond who claimed to be immortal and appeared never to age. But the most extraordinary story of all is the one her grandfather never told her, the one Natalia must discover for herself. One winter during the Second World War, his childhood village was snowbound, cut off even from the encroaching German invaders but haunted by another, fierce presence: a tiger who comes ever closer under cover of darkness. “These stories,” Natalia comes to understand, “run like secret rivers through all the other stories” of her grandfather’s life. And it is ultimately within these rich, luminous narratives that she will find the answer she is looking for.

The book weaves stories, myths, history, and all the characters lives together seamlessly. The descriptive writing not only keeps you interested and curious about how it all comes together, but it makes you feel like you’re above the characters, watching their lives carry on without being seen. I love the way “The Tiger” ties up loose ends in all the stories, it’s like watching a beautiful patchwork quilt being sewn stitch by stitch to perfection, all with words and different lives. The end result is a masterpiece filled with a wide ranging emotions, and leaves a positive taste in your mouth. I love books (music, and movies as well) that cause you to think about your life, your interactions, and how they weave into other lives to make this great history you may not even be aware of. I often wonder whose lives I’ve touched without knowing, a simple smile or a hug on a day when someone needs it most, a heartfelt post on this blog or random online thread. I know that there have been many times where another person has touched my life and I never thought to tell them so, or never saw them again. To me, it means that we are all more than what we think, that our small lives are woven into something greater and we continue on forever in a small but important way. I do hope that I make a difference to someone’s life, even in a small way, even if I never know it. See how much the book makes you think? What a powerful thing words can be! I hope that you read The Tigers Wife, and that you enjoy it as much as I did. Have YOU ever had someone touch your life in a profound way and never got the chance to say “Hey, you made a difference!” Leave it in a comment here, maybe they’ll see it…., most likely not – but at least you’re putting your thanks into the universe and somehow maybe they’ll feel that. You make a difference in my life, just by reading my thoughts and words – and I thank you for that!

I’ve already started my next book adventure, and am currently reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I’m already a fan of it, as I’ve seen the movie and really enjoyed it. For me, the books always outshine the movies, and I’m curious if the book can live up to the film. I’ll let you know! I hope everyone is having a good week and you find the time to settle in with a good book and go on a little adventure.




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