The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht

When Tea Obreht was named one of the young writer’s to watch by the New Yorker people sat up, took notice and waited eagerly for her first novel to be published.  The Tiger’s Wife is part historical novel, part fable and is an amazing piece of writing for a debut novel. The story is set in the Balkans with Natalia the main character. She is trying to unravel the mysterious circumstances of her grand father’s death by retracing some of his steps.  Both doctors, she is delivering medicines to an orphanage which has been left pretty much to it’s own devices after the Balkan’s war. Natalia then travels to the village where her grandfather died, to get his belongings and find out what happened to him.  She reflects on the stories he told her, and of his experiences during and after the Second World War.  Her childhood was full of his stories, one of them about a tiger and a young deaf-mute woman who was said to be the Tiger’s Wife.  The story has a magic realism feel to it, and if you enjoyed The Life of Pi you will really like this one. The story won’t be for everyone, but the writing is terrific.  Tea Obreht is an author to watch.

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