Thursday, January 30, 2014

Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann


Tigers in Red Weather
by Liza Klaussmann
Little, Brown and Company, 2012
384 pages
source: purchased (cover lust definitely played a role!)

Summary (from goodreads):
Nick and her cousin, Helena, have grown up sharing sultry summer heat, sunbleached boat docks, and midnight gin parties on Martha's Vineyard in a glorious old family estate known as Tiger House. In the days following the end of the Second World War, the world seems to offer itself up, and the two women are on the cusp of their 'real lives': Helena is off to Hollywood and a new marriage, while Nick is heading for a reunion with her own young husband, Hughes, about to return from the war.

Soon the gilt begins to crack. Helena's husband is not the man he seemed to be, and Hughes has returned from the war distant, his inner light curtained over. On the brink of the 1960s, back at Tiger House, Nick and Helena—with their children, Daisy and Ed—try to recapture that sense of possibility. But when Daisy and Ed discover the victim of a brutal murder, the intrusion of violence causes everything to unravel. The members of the family spin out of their prescribed orbits, secrets come to light, and nothing about their lives will ever be the same.

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.

My thoughts:

This book has all the ingredients I tend to love in a summer/vacation read - beach house, family secrets, multiple viewpoints - but it was not as compelling as I'd hoped. Each section, narrated by a different family member, jumps around in time (the bulk of the action occurs between the 1940's and 1960's) and the reader is able to piece together events and fill in the blanks as the narratives unfolds. By the final section I was impressed with what the author had accomplished, but it seemed like it took too long to get there.

Overall, it was an enjoyable way to spend a couple of afternoons on the beach, but for a truly great summer read pick up A Hundred Summers instead.

My rating:
(an extra half star for the cover)



Bottom line:
Tigers in Red Weather is a good book with moments of greatness.

24 comments:

  1. The title is very intriguing though!

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    Replies
    1. Peggy Ann - Yes, it is and I love the cover, too. The book was good, but it's not one that will stay with me.

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  2. That certainly is a beautiful cover!

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    Replies
    1. Seagreen Reader - I'm sure it will be in the running for my favorite cover of the year :)

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  3. Thanks for your review. I did not read Tigers in Red Weather, but it did catch my eye. I read A Hundred Summers and enjoyed it.

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    Replies
    1. Pat - A Hundred Summers was definitely the right book at the right time for me... this was more of a good enough book.

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  4. I was going to get this one - I was smitten by the cover too! However, I'm glad my gut reaction has been backed up by your review. It's cold here in Ireland now so I need compelling reads. ;-)

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    Replies
    1. Lovely Treez - This certainly wasn't a bad book and I'll probably check out anything new she writes, but it wasn't as absorbing or consuming as I'd hoped.

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  5. Replies
    1. Diane - It was good enough, but I wouldn't be in a huge hurry to get to it.

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  6. I listened to this book and enjoyed it, but agree 100 Summers is wonderful.

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    1. Nise' - I just looked it up and noticed Katherine Kellgren is the narrator. I'm sure that must have added to the experience!

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  7. This has been on my list. Not got to it as yet.

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    Replies
    1. Mystica - It's definitely worth reading, but I wouldn't be in a rush.

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  8. You had me at beach house but then they leave the beach house... bummer. LOL.

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    Replies
    1. Ti - The scenes on Martha's Vineyard were definitely the best!

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  9. It sounds interesting but I think I'm going to pass on this one. I'm going to look up 100 Summers.

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    1. Vasilly - A Hundred Summers was my idea of an absolutely perfect summer/vacation/beach read... I loved every page!

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  10. Yes, that is a perfect cover! It does sound like it had the right ingredients but failed in the execution.

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    1. JaneGS - I'm wondering if it would have worked better for me if the viewpoints alternated throughout the novel. Instead, each person had their entire say and we never heard from them again. It made the last section VERY effective...but, to me, that seemed like a long time to wait for the reward.

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  11. Nice comparison to Hundred Summers (my first fiction read of the year). Yoo bad it wasn't quite as good.

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    1. Stacybuckeye - I really loved Hundred Summers, so will be curious to see what you thought. This book was good, but not as good as I'd hoped.

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  12. I have this on my shelf, but once summer passed it stopped calling to me. Maybe I'll get around to it next summer.

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    Replies
    1. Carol - I think this is definitely better in summer... or on a beach during winter vacation!

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