Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Tiger's Wife: Part Three

I realize it has been absolutely no time since I posted regarding the second part of this book, but I hit my stride and could not put the book down. (Needless to say, I'm extremely tired today.) 

The Tiger's Wife is completed and I feel confused, and left wanting more, but still completely happy with the book.  Again, the sections that kept me up all night were the stories.  The deathless man and the deaf-mute girl make the entire novel worth reading.  I was so releived to find that the end of the book found Natalia giving into the stories and exploring thier truths instead of finding out that the entire book was standing on the crazy tales of an old man.  While the stories are what I loved about the Tiger's Wife, they are also what has left me so confused.  What was actually going on with the deaf-mute girl and the tiger?  Was he really so tame from his time at the Citadel that he developed a relationship with a human? Was Natalia's grandfather able to track down the deathless man to repay his debt?  What is going on with that dog that everyone is painting?

The thread that I was finally able to find that pulled Natalia's grandfather's story together is one that will stay with me.  Guilt.  A man that has to carry the guilt of what he's done as a boy.  To live life trying to make up for the fact that you killed another human being.  Even worse, to live life knowing that it was all for naught.  I still don't understand why they apothecary had to kill the tiger's wife, but I do know it was horrible for him to make the boy do it for him.  It was heartbreacking to think that she died thinking her one true human friend had killed her. 

There is one thread to the story that I cannot understand that is gnawing at my brain.  The deathless man-Luka connection.  I can't see the significance of it other than one of those small-world type coincidences.

I thought it was very bold of the author to leave so many quetions unanswered. I wonder if I read the book again at some point, knowing what I know now, if I would find answers, or at least be able to decide what I think about everything. 

I would recommend it.  I'm not sure that I'm a fan of the Huffington Post's book club format, but they did make a good first choice.


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