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The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht

The Book:

Source for ‘The Book’ section : From Goodreads

The time: the present. The place: a Balkan country ravaged by years of conflict. Natalia, a young doctor, is on a mission of mercy to an orphanage when she receives word of her beloved grandfather’s death far from their home under circumstances shrouded in confusion. Remembering childhood stories her grandfather once told her, Natalia becomes convinced that he spent his last days searching for “the deathless man,” a vagabond who claimed to be immortal. As Natalia struggles to understand why her grandfather, a deeply rational man, would go on such a farfetched journey, she stumbles across a clue that leads her to the extraordinary story of the tiger’s wife.

The View:

When I checked this book out from my local library, I carried not just the book out but with it tonnes of expectations and hopes on the author and the book. And .. it was heavy! I got home, finished what I was reading and immediately sat down with a cup of green tea and ‘The Tiger’s wife’. I said to myself, now here is a book I am going to enjoy. After all the rave reviews and recommendations this book had received I was just glad to finally get hold of it.

Let me start my review by saying that I have read worst books. Once I started reading, I realized I needed a break quicker than expected. My reaction was ‘When will this whole thing get over’. I loved the fables about the tiger’s wife and the deathless man, but I did not enjoy the way they were being told. The sentences and narration were too perfect, almost flawless. Given that the story being told was clearly a fable or a legend I expected some more simplicity in the narration. There was also a marked disconnect between the fables and the present day and as much as I tried to understand the link between them I failed.

Tea Obreht has a unique writing style and she definitely possess a mastery on the english language. Even if you are not someone who pays attention to writing details you will notice that the style adapted to narrate this story is far superior to many seasoned writers. Like I mentioned earlier, it is perfect and just flawless. Sadly just possessing a mastery on the language, and having some interesting fables cannot make for a super-novel and ‘The Tiger’s Wife’ proves this.

I wanted to enjoy this book as I am a sucker for legends and honestly I did enjoy it just not the amount I expected too. I liked bits and pieces of the tales and in certain places they even had a wonderful connection of sorts. Natalie was weak and under-developed and I almost skipped the pages where she appeared. Rated only a 3 on 5 but kudos to Tea for being so talented at such a young age.



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