Author : Tea Obreht ISBN : 0385343841 Publisher : Random House Trade Paperbacks

Summary:
Tea Obreht, a young fiction writer, the youngest amongst The New Yorker's twenty best American writers under the age of forty, presents her debut novel, The Tiger's Wife:A Novel, a masterpiece that is sure to establish her as one of the most proficient authors of her time. Having won the 2011 Orange Prize for Fiction for the marvel of a novel; she brings to the readers a magnificent tale of a young woman's relationship with her grandfather. Natalia, the narrating character of the story, is a young doctor who comes to a Balkan country on a merciful mission at a seaside orphanage. With the environment packed with the scent of reconstruction and recovery from extended conflicts, Natalia, together with her best mate Zora, mend to the children within the orphanage. Soon, she finds out that her hosts have chosen to keep certain timeworn secrets to themselves; secrets that are well-hidden in the surrounding landscape and strange stories depicting a peculiar family digging for something in the surrounding vineyards.

In the meanwhile, Natalia finds herself confronting haunting memories of her beloved grandfather's death in the recent past. She succumbs to her curiosity as the mystifying events circling her grandfather's death take form of puzzling questions in her mind, the last known incident being his heading off to a dilapidated settlement that none of their family members have ever come across or heard of, where he died alone. He was a renowned physician and must have known that he was certainly not healthy for a journey, which makes Natalia wonder as to why he left their home in the first place. Looking for clues, Natalia drifts through her childhood memories involving her grandfather telling her stories of his encounter with an immortal vagabond who never seemed to age and the fierce presence of a tiger that closes in under the cloak of darkness. The story then revolves around Natalia's relationship with her grandfather as she sets in to unravel the mystery surrounding his death.

Review
The Tiger's Wife: A Novel brings into operation your deepest senses, probing one to think along the lines of the the female narrator, Natalia. The author keeps a seamless narration, leaving no loopholes and making it seem as if the author herself is sharing her experiences, which evidently portrays the amount of time and mind that she has put into designing the story. Tea's originality remains in the arrangement of the scenes, which keeps the reader completely engrossed within the book.

Natalia's relationship with her grandfather lingers away from the routine experiences and relationships between the characters that many fictional stories depict, which makes one ponder over their own and discover the true essence of several unexplored corners of their childhood memories. Needless to mention, the story is extraordinary and it's no where near a fantasy, for one can easily relate to the circumstances featured in the novel. The Tiger's Wife: A Novel is one breathtaking sail across a lattice-worked ocean of mystical family legend, love, and loss.

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Nhut Pham

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