I bought this novel from Bookpeople with the hope that I would make their book club that was discussing this book. Nope. Still working on my New Year’s Resolution to attend a book club there.
The Tiger’s Wife is a complex weaving of several stories. While I could easily go on way too long about each, I’ll concentrate on the tiger’s wife’s story. She is by far the most interesting character. The woman has no name. Her husband forgot the moment he heard it, the moment he was tricked into marrying her. She is deaf and dumb and her very presence enrages her husband, the butcher, into fits of incredible violence. Even though the townspeople are aware of her circumstances, no one interferes to help her. It is only when a lost tiger, escaped from a zoo, takes a liking to her that the town takes notice. And it is the mysterious love between a woman incapable of communication (and therefore more like an animal?) and a tiger that should present more danger than her husband but is kind and domesticated (and therefore more like a human?) that drives the novel. It is a love impossible to ignore and impossible to understand. It is frightening, disturbing and fascinating.
The novel is hard to follow in places and has a strong element of magic and mystery. Eventually you can resist its draw and will be sucked in, desperate to know more, desperate to try and understand. I would definitely recommend it.