To Go: 28
71. The Perfect Hope — Nora Roberts
72. Tigers in Red Weather — Liza Klaussman
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 grown distant. On the brink of the 1960s, back at Tiger House, Nick and Helena — with their children, Daisy and Ed — try to recapture the sense of possibility from their youth. But when Daisy and Ed discover the victim of a brutal murder, dark family secrets slowly reveal themselves, and lies from the past are pushed to the surface.
I bought Tigers In Red Weather on an impulse-buying spree in Chapters (it was buy 3 get the 4th free! Leave me alone!), and I’m so glad I did. I actually finished it yesterday, but I put a hold on the review to try to think about what I wanted to say, because I was just utterly stunned by the book. A day later, and I still don’t know what to say about Liza Klaussman’s fantastic book. I don’t think I could ever be a real, legitimate book reviewer, because I just have no words.
Anyway, what I will say is this: the book was thoroughly captivating. It was divided into five sections, each one focused on one of the people who vacationed in the family’s summer home, Tiger House, and all of the sections were fantastic. All of the characters were nuanced and imperfect and utterly engrossing to read about. I was going to add an “especially” and list my favourite focus characters, and then I realized I couldn’t narrow it down to just one or two; I loved them all.
Tigers In Red Weather was both a portrait of a family post-WWII, and a story about how complex and messy family can be. Oh, and a bit of a creepy thriller towards the end, leading up to a gripping conclusion. It was a jack-of-all trades book, and it juggled all of its roles well. Probably one of my favourite novels this year. (I know I say it a lot, but I really mean it this time!)
Next book: I have a free e-book PDF that I’m going to read pretty quickly, as soon as I finish dealing with — sigh — the re-draft of my feature, my last assignment of the semester.
Next feature: photos of the Christmas Market at the Distillery District.