There are some debut novels that are released in a wave of publicity and ride the tide into the public’s consciousness, there are others that insidiously worm their way into the best-seller charts and then there are those who are critically acclaimed across the world, win the Orange Prize for Fiction, have gorgeous covers and are slow burners. The Tiger’s Wife is one such book. It has sold steadily but without much fanfare, having just finished it in one sitting I would argue that it deserves much trumpeting.
This story is told in a lyrically assured voice and is woven with great skill. It is quite simply beautiful, but in a way that is also a heart-breakingly sad. The style of the writing draws you into the mysteries of the language and the story. You read this and you don’t forget. It won’t let you. The key is throughout the mythology of the tiger and through the deathless man Téa Obreht never loses sight of humanity – that of the reader or her characters.
Fortunately Random House has included bookclub notes, realising it will be one that will continue to inspire and steadily sell and be a fabulous discussion point. If you enjoyed The Tiger’s Wife, you might also love The Book Thief or vice versa if you are one of the many who has discovered Marcus Zusak’s tale.