Thursday, May 26, 2011
A Worker Bee Reviews The Tiger's Wife
My only quibble with the novel is its occasionally wayward literary experimentation--i.e., a sudden shift to second person, an odd temporal leap, or a penchant for backstory extending even to objects, such as the blacksmith's musket. But it may certainly be argued that these techniques are germane to the novel's content. Also, either the experimental variety lessened as the book progressed . . . or, I was simply too charmed to notice it anymore.
In essence, this is a true delight for the literary reader. Peruse The Tiger's Wife and bask in Obreht's lush descriptions, her folklore on the cusp of magical realism, and remember its sequence of stories as one recalls a vivid dream: green, lush, and strange.
Summer Reading Advisory: My parting bit of advice is to read The Tiger's Wife slowly--it is to be savored--and remember the opinion of the people of Brejevina: " . . . [If] you are making your journey in a hurry, you are making it poorly" (98). This book catalogues a murky passage of time, perfect for summer languor. Find a patch of sunshine and sip its words like nectar.