The Sunday Times declared that Tigers In Red Weather is "the intelligent beach read of the summer" and while that sounds vaguely patronising and pompous to me, I can see where they are coming from. It's got a darker edge to it than the classic frothy chicklit that ends up in most people's suitcases and it will make you think about the reality of life beneath that shiny veneer for the beautiful people in their luxurious homes with the supposedly perfect life. The novel is set in post-war America but much of the social analysis remains relevant even today.
The book is written in five sections, each one taking the viewpoint of a different character, but each one relating the events of the same period of time, giving us the bigger picture the further we get into the book. This structure reminded me slightly of the original series of Cold Case when they would replay the same scenes, adjusting them to reflect the different perspective and differing versions of each witness.
It offers an interesting insight into life in the rich families of the East Coast and the hidden family and marital dramas going on behind the scenes. The pivotal event seems to be the horrific muder of a Hispanic maid in the community, but this barbaric act seems to be just a visible outpouring of everything rotten that is hidden from view just below the surface within the different characters' psyches and lives.
Despite the multi-layered, repetitive structure that is constantly going over the same events, there are still some big surprises in store up until the final page. This is Liza Klaussmann's debut novel and I found it original and intriguing so I will definitely be looking out for her next novel to see what else she can come up with.
star rating : 4/5
RRP : £7.99
- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: Picador (9 May 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 144721207X
- ISBN-13: 978-1447212072
Disclosure : I received a review copy of the book.
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