Now I’m going to be honest with you. The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht and I didn’t originally get on.
It took me several attempts at picking this book up and reading a few pages for me to actually get past the first few chapters. It was only when I finished my English degree did I come back to this book, pick it up and read it eagerly from start to finish.
The Tiger’s Wife initially put me off as I kept trying to analyse it (that’s an English Lit degree for you!) and it stopped me from absorbing the tale as it unravelled.
The narration is lead by Natalia, a young doctor on a mission to inoculate children in orphanages. Undergoing this journey with her lifelong friend Zóra, she hears some bad news about a loved family member. This news then leads the narrative into a series of retold fables, revealed secrets and snippets of how she deals with her grief as she goes along her journey.
The narrative really makes this novel. Whilst the book appears slow to begin with, it quickly develops into an intriguing and addictive read. Within the rich, luminous narratives of her childhood, Natalia discovers so many lessons about herself, her family members and the world she lives in.
If you’re looking for a book that’s unique and beautiful to read, I’d definitely recommend The Tiger’s Wife.