The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht – Book 42

The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht is a beautifully written novel.  Natalia is a doctor with a special, close relationship with her grandfather.  She is the only other person (besides himself) who knows about his cancer diagnosis, and he dies.  When she finds herself administering vaccinations to orphans in a very close proximity to where her grandfather died, Natalia is drawn to the city and to her grandfather’s story.

The Tiger’s Wife follows the life of Natalia and her grandfather, from childhood to adulthood.  It is mythical, but realistic at the same time.

While I was reading, I kept comparing The Tiger’s Wife to other novels that I’ve read recently that seemed to have similar themes or ideas.  So I thought I’d give the comparisons:

  • I am an Executioner: Love Stories by Rajesh Parameswaran – One of the stories in I am an Executioner dealt with a tiger who escapes from captivity after “loving” his trainer to death.  The Tiger’s Wife also had an escaped tiger who ended up “in love” with a woman in the story that Natalia’s grandfather knew when he was a child.
  • Swamplandia! by Karen Russell – Both Swamplandia! and The Tiger’s Wife deal with the potential for a ghost or spiritual being, but in a very realistic way, not in a cheesy way with ghosts opening and shutting doors.  They left the ideas out there for the possibility, but also left other options for some of the situations as well.  In addition, the stories deal with taming the wild animals (alligators, tigers) and family issues.

All in all, a good read!

If you could have an exotic pet, what would you choose?

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15 thoughts on “The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht – Book 42

  1. I really liked this book, too.

    I wouldn’t want to own an exotic pet (I’m one of those people who gets really sad at zoos, seeing the animals all caged up), but for the sake of playing along, I’d want a giraffe. They’re my favorite “wild” animal.

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  2. I wanted to like this book more than I did. I’m not a fan of magical realism, so I think that’s why I didn’t enjoy it as much.

    And as for my “exotic pet,” I’d want a golden lion tamarin monkey. They are adorable!!

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  3. I have the same problem that Laura has: magical realism is not for me. In South America there is a well-known author who writes books of this genre (Isabel Allende is her name) and I felt like I read one of these book and I have read them all, because they are always very similar. There are also more South American authors that I’ve read (it must be a very fashionable genre there) and I always feel the same.
    (I need a lot of words to express myself!!) 😀

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  4. Where or where have I seen the face of this book. Do I have it on my shelf and yet to read. Thanks for the posting and reminder. PS:” If I could be an exotic pet, I would chose “A Polar Bear” because it’s always been the one I wanted to be.”

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  5. I really liked this book, too! I haven’t read much magical realism (just a few Gabriel Garcia Marquez stories), so I’m not sure how I feel about it yet, but I loved the kind of magical-but-maybe-not feel to this book. It had a more mythological/folklore feel to it that I really enjoyed. And the writing! Lovely.

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