Jen K’s #CBR5 Review #25: The Tiger’s Wife by Tea Obreht

I never know about award winning novels: on the one hand, the awards occasionally introduce me to amazing novels I wouldn’t have noticed otherwise but sometimes their opinions and mine just don’t mesh. That is somewhat the case when it comes to The Tiger’s Wife. Tea Obreht is originally from Serbia, one of the countries that was once part of Yugoslavia, before war and bloodshed. Her novel deals with war, conflict, ethnic differences, and tells the story of coming of age in an unnamed war torn city. And while I feel like I should care about this, I had a hard time actually feeling that way. I felt too distant from the narrator, Natalia, to truly care what was going on with her specifically. At the beginning of the novel, she is enroute to give vaccines to children in an orphanage when she finds out that her grandfather has died in a random village, confusing his family. Though accompanied by her best friend, she keeps the information to herself and seems rather numb. For the rest of the novel, she reflects on her childhood, growing up with her mom and grandparents, the war, and the stories her grandfather used to tell as well as the stories of her grandfather she learned later in life.

Read the rest the review, and some of things I actually liked about the novel here.