Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obert

The Tiger's Wife: A Novel
Obreht portrays two besieged doctors. Natalia is on an ill-advised good will medical mission at an orphanage on what is suddenly the other side, now that war has broken out, when she learns that her grandfather, a distinguished doctor forced out of his practice by ethnic divides, has died far from home. She is beset by memories, particularly of her grandfather taking her to the zoo to see the tigers. We learn the source of his fascination in mesmerizing flashbacks, meeting the village butcher, the deaf-mute Muslim woman he married, and a tiger who escaped the city zoo after it was bombed by the Germans. Of equal mythic mystery is the story of the deathless man.

This story just lost me.  It started off as a fascinating blend of myth, superstition and folklore but the many segues ended up feeling like the author herself wasn't sure where she was taking us and, indeed, it ended up that it led nowhere.

Rating: 2.5 Do NOT Recommend

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