The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht reviewed

The Tiger's WifeThe Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A wonderful fairytale winding through the Balkan wars and villages with far fetched stories of tigers and a deathless man. Tea is a great storyteller sho has found her roots back in the Balkans in this tale with the stories of old. She winds the superstitious and religious realities of the villagers whilst Natalia Stefanovic narrates the story of her grandfather's visits with the the deathless man and his fascination with the tiger.

Her grandfather, a well respected doctor, whom she has followed with her career, has lived through one war dividing the country and now is seeing it again. Through his eyes Natalia has learnt to see the world slightly differently, at a different pace. She learns from him the compassion to people, to be able to hear pain and sufferering where others seem oblivious to it. He teaches her to keep some special things to herself as these things "..belong only to you. And me...The story of this war...belongs to everyone.." (when he was referring to seeing the elephants quietly walking though the city down the Boulevard in the early hours of the morning. He wanted Natalia to learn from his years and whilst there was a time she rejected him like most teenage girls, in the end she realised the wisdom of him and sanctity of their relationship.

Tea's magical storytelling winds aroung the hills of the Balkans and though the villages with such beautiful vivid descriptions of pre, mid and post war landscape. She threads the stories of old hunting and superstition into the clash of new world where they do and don't meet, yet leaving trails of mystery where they should stay.

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Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey reviewed

Jasper JonesJasper Jones by Craig Silvey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book of Craig Silvey's. The story is set in a small town of Corrigan and based around Charlie, the main protagonist who has great strong voice. Charlie is a 14 year old who, to date, has lived a good life being smart and obedient. He is a single child of a quiet father who shuts himself away in his library for long periods of time, and an overbearing mother. His life is interrupted and turned upside down by a tap on the window by Jasper Jones, the errant teen of the town, who desperately needs his help.

Charlie is faced with needing to stand by and defend his best friend and family, the only Vietnamese in town who is persecuted by the cricket team and louts from the town. Through this he learns what it is to himself.
Jasper Jones leads Charlie up the bush path to try to help him solve the greatest mystery of the town and in doing so, Charlie's life falls apart and he has to work out how to rebuild it.

I think this is a great YA and adult read (my bookclub is reading it and we are well over the young adult age group). There was plenty of tension to keep the reader strung along and even a romance threaded through. It dealt with issues of identity, death, grief, responsibility, racism and corruption. Would be a great book for kids to study.

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New booklist for 2013

This is what I wait for with baited breath, unsure of what I should read until the list comes out.  I am like an unanchored ship.  The list has been issued thanks to Leanne, our hardworking, yoga-chilled organiser.  We all just come up with all of the books that we might like to read over the year (it is always way more than we could ever read, like a group of greedy children at a table of party food grabbing all, then realising that we can only fit so much in).   Leanne's job is to cull the list and, as she explained to us over our Kris Kringle last year, to fit the books to the moods of the seasons!  Well she has certainly been doing a great job for the 12 years I've been going.

Now all that is left is to madly read the first one by February 6th.  First off the rank is Questions of Travel by Michelle De Kretser and I'm looking forward to once I get hold of my copy.

If you would like to know what other books we are reading this year and would like to read along, check out My Book Club Page for the most recent list.  I take no responsibility for any last minute changes as the year chugs along.  There is nothing wrong with changing our minds!

Happy New Year!

x  Meg