Popsugar Reading Challenge category: A book with "tiger" in the title or on the cover
Book: The Tiger's Wife, by Tea Obreht
This is one of those very literary novels where everything is described in colorful detail, and every character has a complicated backstory (and in one case, a gun has a lengthy backstory). It's set in an unnamed Balkan country, after the war that destroyed Yugoslavia has settled into an uneasy, suspicious peace.
The narrator, Natalia, is a young doctor with ancestry on more than one "side" of the war. She's delivering vaccines across the border when she learns of the death of her beloved grandfather, also a doctor. The story interweaves Natalia's work, the puzzling circumstances surrounding her grandfather's death, and two supernatural stories she learned from her otherwise skeptical grandfather. One was about a man he encountered who was cursed with immortality. The other was a woman known as the Tiger's Wife, an abused outcast who had a mysterious bond with an escaped tiger.
I wasn't sure what to make of the Tiger's Wife character or her eventual fate. The more affecting parts of the story, for me, were Natalia and the people around her trying to navigate a world so damaged by war that the human minefields were just as threatening as the literal ones.
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