Title: Tigers in Red Weather (Goodreads)
Author: Liza Klaussman
Published: Picador, 2012
Genres: Historical Fiction
My Copy: Paperback
Buy: Amazon, Book Depository, Kindle (or visit your local Indie bookstore)
Tigers in Red Weather is a unforgettable novel of life with all its complexity and mystery. Nick and her cousin Helena grow up together in Tiger house an old family estate on an island. As they grew the world changed with them; World War II has ended and it felt like a world of possibilities. Helena leaves for Hollywood and Nick reunites with her husband after serving in the war, but everything has changed and on their trips back to Tiger house they find out just how complex life can be.
This is no ordinary story of family and growing up; apart from the emotions of life and family there is a sense of dark and sinister secrets. With the back drop of the forties to the sixties you can watch the family grow and the hidden be revealed. Brilliantly told from five perspectives, Tigers in Red Weather slowly shows you the true colours of every member of this family, building a beautiful but fragile picture of these characters.
I really loved the characters in this book; all of them had their own secrets and flaws and while they may not have the best intentions they all felt very real and oddly portrayed. The dark and underlying secrets of this family is what really stood out for me in the book; it made the characters come alive but kept a sense of mystery as I continued reading. I am reminded in part of The Great Gatsby as the characters all feel shallow and selfish but there is so much depth and beauty in each of them as the story progresses.
While on the surface this feels very much like a typical novel of family, the dark secrets really kept me engrossed and the reveal of the darkest secret was both surprising and pleasing; that little curve ball at the end really cemented my feelings towards this book. This is a debut novel by Liza Klaussman but she really shows that she is a master at her craft; especially with the literary idea of ‘show don’t tell’. Klaussman is the great-great-great granddaughter of Herman Melville but I hope that doesn’t become a label for her, because I expect to see great things from the author in the future.