The 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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