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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann

Title:†Tigers in Red Weather
Author: Liza Klaussmann
Publisher:††Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date:††July 17, 2012
Reviewer:†Ethan

Summary: Brilliantly told from five points of view, with a magical elegance and suspenseful dark longing, Tigers in Red Weather is an unforgettable debut novel from a writer of extraordinary insight and accomplishment.

Review: Nick and her cousin, Helena, are two women searching for their place in the world. With the Second World War drawing two a close, both women find themselves ready to take on the rest of their lives. In author Liza Klaussmann's debut novel, "Tigers in Red Weather", readers are provided with the strong characterization of an intriguing family.†


Nick and her husband Hughes are finding it difficult to adjust to domestic life after the end of the war. They live in a small, Florida cottage where the repetition of their daily routines is taking a toll on them. Hughes follows the role that most men of the era do, consistently attending work to provide for his family. Nick, never much of a cook, finds it difficult to complete her daily tasks, and longs for something more.†


Meanwhile, her cousin Helena is starting her new life by marrying a Hollywood producer. After the unfortunate death of her first husband, who lost his life in the war, Helena finally seems to be on the path to her dream life. Unfortunately, the lights of her Hollywood marriage are not as bright as she thought. Her husband seems interested in only using her family’s money to fund his ill-fated project.†


Fast-forward ten years, and both Nick and Helena are mothers to Daisy and Ed respectively. The two women, along with their children and Hughes, are spending the summer at the family's coastal property, The Tiger House. Despite their age, both women long for a more interesting life. When Daisy and Ed stumble upon the brutally murdered corpse of a maid, the facade of happiness that the entire family has built begins to come crashing down.†


In this debut, reminiscent of "The Great Gatsby" in both style and substance, Klaussmann provides readers with a tale full of genuine characters and suspense, making this novel the perfect intellectual summer read. The story is broken into five sections, each narrated by a different main character, providing intimate insights into each person's thoughts, emotions, and motivations. Chronology became a bit muddied at times, especially when characters reminisce through flashbacks, but Klaussmann does a commendable job keeping the times labeled. There is a murder in the story, but the focus becomes more about the characters, the murder merely a means to explore the family dynamics. Overall, this novel has a great mix of historical setting, interesting characters, and narrative momentum. I definitely recommend this book as a strong summer read.†
-Ethan

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