17 April 2012

The Tiger's Wife, by Téa Obrecht

It's been awhile since I read a book that was simultaneously so alien and so absorbing. Knowing nothing about the book in advance, I was delighted by the way the plot unfolded, becoming a series of connected tales that were a fascinating blend of an occasionally brutal realism and spellbinding legend. It's really quite a remarkable book, a devastating portrayal of conflict in the Balkans combined with a really wonderful mythic quality that is not at all the well-worn magical realism one that I, for one, am a little fed up with. I loved the way that all the stories and characters were eventually tied together (without making a big deal about it), and how there were these openings left to connect them to other stories; gaps that the text leaves hanging in this wonderfully suggestive fashion, evoking a dense tapestry of narrative - ie, the world itself.

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