Okay. I really don't want to say "finally, I'm done this book", but, well, y'know. Finally
There's that old saying that goes, "everything has its right place and its right time", or something like that. This book was basically built upon that saying. I started reading it when I was back in Nursing School, and that sure wasn't the time to be reading this book. I'm picturing a nice vacation out in a chalet or on a ski getaway near a fire, loads of snow, and in good need of a story. This book...this book covers that and covers it well.
Téa Obreht's debut novel is GOOD
. Don't take this the wrong way, because it is. Well written, detailed, interesting, and a little witty. But if you're looking for a quick read where it's easy to get into the characters from the jump, this isn't it. This book needs your time and attention, or you'll completely miss the point of the chapter you're reading. Think of a really sweet old lady telling you what you'd probably brush off as an old folks tale while she knits, that's what this story reads like. Following the narrator and her grandfather, telling two different stories between many periods, this story folds into itself over and over.
If you can't handle the "fantastic", don't bother. The book is entitled The Tiger's Wife
for goodness sakes, and you should expect just that. Natalia and her grandfather, both doctors in different times, yet still with the same goals, go through personal experiences that brink on the impossible. People who cannot die, surviving generations? Humans that transform into animals? That isn't real. But it's fun. And surprisingly, none of the animals actually eat anyone (human). This novel is a real well-orchestrated circus, only because it's so neatly packed with everything. War, love, family, relationships, abuse, it's all there.
However, the circus is only in town for so long, and only so many go. When I first had this book suggested to me, I quickly jumped into it. Seeing that it was under four hundred pages, I figured it'd be a quick breeze, especially since I was reading it on my iPad. Not!
I wasn't reading it consecutively, but it did take me an entire month
to finish this one book. That doesn't happen, I'm used to devouring books in a sitting or more. Getting into this book took a little bit more than most, and I honestly believe that having the physical book in my hands (and owning it, because it wasn't like I could give it back to the library, it'd always be on my shelf partially read) made a difference. If you've got the time, pick it up and give it a try.
Labels: fiction, téa obreht, the tiger's wife