must read: the tiger’s wife

i haven’t been reading enough “real” books lately…i let my brain check out and read throwaways too often.  i spotted the tiger’s wife, by tea obreht, being reviewed in elle (i think?), then nylon, then i saw a full-page feature in vogue.  message received.  this novel is getting rave reviews at every turn, particularly in light of the fact that the author is just 24 years old.  but there’s no trace of that youth in her debut novel.

the story takes place in a war-torn balkan state, chronicling the life of a young girl, largely through memory.  the story begins with the death of her grandfather (i don’t think i’m spoiling anything there), and then turns into a biography/mystery of sorts, as she uses her memories to spin the story of her childhood with her grandparents, then to attempt to solve the mystery of her grandfather’s death.  it’s a beautifully written novel, almost reading like a fable or something from chaucer…every character is more than they seem, and every event carries more meaning than it first appears.

while it took me a while to really get sucked in, i’ve found myself staying up past midnight reading this one on at least two separate nights.  for me, that’s the mark of a must-read.

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