Monday, February 6, 2012

"The Tiger's Wife" Review

I haven't been around since Halloween? Geez. Well the good news is: I finally found a sort of job. I'm only a temp, but it is full time position. Which is good. 

Because my job doesn't really have much going on all day long, I decided to start reading news websites, which I don't like. So I start hanging out on the Huffungton Post, and saw that they started a book club. I joined, obviously. 

The first book they read was The Tiger's Wife  by Téa Obreht.

Where to begin? While I probably missed where exactly this book took place, which would be my fault, but I had a hard time picturing where this place is. As an avid fantasy reader, I love maps. To me, maps make things more real, even if its a fantasy world. That way, you can follow the characters' journeys through the story on the map, so you can see where things are in relation to one another. I'm sure if I took the time to do a little research, I could figure it out. [too lazy]

This story though, did make me regret my own grandfathers. I have never really been close to them. One of my grandfathers had 10 kids and 27 grandkids. I was lost in the shuffle because I was so shy and felt like people liked me less than everyone else (symptom of depression, surprise-surprise). This grandpa died when I was 16. The other grandpa is a hoarder, who's house we couldn't go to very often. When I was younger, I was also intimidated by him... probably because we weren't supposed to touch his things. This grandpa is still alive but leaves his house less, and when people do get together with him, I'm usually unavailable due to work or other circumstances. I know, excuses excuses. 

Natalia had the relationship with her grandfather that I had achieved during my life. I suppose she had one advantage, that being that she lived with him and lacked a preset father figure. Do we know what happened to her father?

As a character, I didn't like Natalia. I thought her ego was too big for who she really was. I understand that she wanted to help save all those children that they had come to save, but at the same time, she must have learned somewhere that 1) you can't force medicine on those who refuse it and 2) you can't save everyone. And I suppose I wasn't too fond of her telling the life stories of other characters, most of whom she'd never even met, since she wasn't even born by that time. However, I did like the stories about the deathless man, and because it was told in the voice of the grandfather, I found it more believable than some of the other stories she told. 

And to be honest, if she could take interviews with village people about her grandfather's life as a child, then I think she could have some up with a scene between her grandfather and the deathless man- when they met for the last time. I think, after we saw them meet three times, that this final one would have been the greatest scene of the book, but instead, we're left with a summary of what happened. This set up for an epic death was fallen short by a lack of "assumption" which I felt was prominent throughout the rest of the book. 

I, like some people whose comments I've read, agree that the end sort of falls short after the build up. I was also confused about the man that Natalia meets at the end, whom she follows through the woods. I think it was supposed to be the deathless man, but he was totally different. His manner was too unsure and confused, and who was the wife? I didn't really get that. If anyone can help me out there, I'd appreciate it. 

That's pretty much all I've got to say about this book. Looking forward to starting the next one!