Tuesday, March 29, 2011

{read: bestselling fiction} The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht

This is one
This is one of the best books I've read recently. It's a perfect blend of storytelling, a protagonist I liked but who was complex, and a hint of magical realism. After being disappointed by Open City, which many people loved but I couldn't get into, I was glad that this much-hyped book lived up to the buzz for me.

Natalia Stefanovi is searching for answers to her grandfather's death in a war-torn Balkan country that's strongly reminiscent of the former Yugoslavia. Like her grandfather, she's a doctor, and she learns of his death when she and her longtime friend, Zora, are traveling to an orphanage across the border, post-war, to vaccinate the children. She was the only one who knew he had cancer, but she didn't know he had left home, ostensibly to see her, and she didn't know that he had died until she returns a page from her grandmother. (She and Zora have pagers but no cell phones.)

Pieces of this book hit just the right tone, neither too subtle nor too heavy handed. I was almost holding my breath, waiting to see if Tea got it right, and I was never disappointed. In this, she reminds me of Tom Franklin and his dialogue in Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter. Although these are two completely different stories, the authors find just the right tone and approach.

I'd definitely recommend this to anyone who doesn't mind a touch of the magical (a deathless man, for example) in their fiction. I know I'll be reading it again.

The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht (Random House, 2011)
My rating: 4 stars

Don’t miss these two great author events!
It’s {th}ink's first giveaway! You could win a signed, personalized copy of You Know When the Men are Gone by Siobhan Fallon.

April 1 - Author Nina Revoyr (Wingshooters) will be at Next Chapter Bookshop in Mequon, Wis., at 7 p.m. (See other tour dates/locations.)

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