- I’ve read a lot of pre-war books, and this one, being post-war, intrigued me.
Summary from GoodReads:
Nick and her cousin, Helena, have grown up sharing sultry summer heat, sunbleached boat docks, and midnight gin parties on Martha’s Vineyard in a glorious old family estate known as Tiger House. In the days following the end of the Second World War, the world seems to offer itself up, and the two women are on the cusp of their ‘real lives’: Helena is off to Hollywood and a new marriage, while Nick is heading for a reunion with her own young husband, Hughes, about to return from the war.
Soon the gilt begins to crack. Helena’s husband is not the man he seemed to be, and Hughes has returned from the war distant, his inner light curtained over. On the brink of the 1960s, back at Tiger House, Nick and Helena–with their children, Daisy and Ed–try to recapture that sense of possibility. But when Daisy and Ed discover the victim of a brutal murder, the intrusion of violence causes everything to unravel. The members of the family spin out of their prescribed orbits, secrets come to light, and nothing about their lives will ever be the same.
Tigers in Red Weather houses a story that had a very, very bold undertaking. In this story, Liza Klaussmann weaves together a tale that not only spans years (and decades) but also switches from one point of view to the next. What do I mean?
The first section of time periods is devoted to one character, but then we go back to those same time periods, this time seen through the eyes of the next character…so on and so forth. What should have been completely confusing, as a result, is at times repetitive, but also filled with revelation upon revelation heaped on the reader as the story unfolds.
While reading Tigers in Red Weather I was reminded of eating an artichoke. No, really, I was. One by one the petals get pulled away and savored, enjoyed, then discarded until finally those last few are peeled away and the heart of the artichoke (or story) is bared, ready to be fully devoured and relished. And that’s what happened with this story – I devoured those final moments and was shocked by what they meant to the rest of the story.
In some ways, Tigers is a coming-of-age story – for both the young people and their parents involved in the story. In others, it’s a tragic look at how different things were in the 40′s, 50′s, and 60′s. Post-war relationships are thoroughly explored, innocence lost, and family relationships are brutally bared as their secrets come to light.
A thoroughly engrossing novel.
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- The publisher provided this review copy via NetGalley.
- Published by: Little, Brown and Co.
- Release Date: 7/17/2012