I think the books that mean a lot to us are intensely personal, and when they are associated with moments of change or enormous importance, they become relics of our lives. I remember, for instance, exactly where I was while I was reading Jane Eyre, my first grown-up novel, and to me it will always mean sitting alone at lunchtime in the garden of the British school in Cairo, and finding out that we were moving to America.
I’m also a big fan of novels that extend the story to cover the children, friends and neighbors of the central characters. When I read I’m not the atomic kid. If I start a novel and can see that it’s only going to be about one or two characters (that’s what I mean by “atomic”) then I’m not interested.
This review is a repost of DH’s original three posts, from October and November 2010.
The Tiger’s Wife weaves back and forth over many decades in war-torn, former Yugoslavia. And I say “war-torn” as if it were part of the name of Yugoslavia, like you would say “New York”. This is not an area of the world that most Americans know much about.
Amazing things happen in the book world, and sometimes we don’t know how they really happened. When you’re reading Tory’s next novel, and it’s on the cover of the NYTBR, or it’s picked as a top ten book of the year by the New York Times, then you’ll know the path it took to get there. This is much deserved praise, and we’re very happy for Tory, now go out and buy TVP, it’s on sale wherever books are sold.
My mom used to pay me a penny a page to read books over the summer. I was never the kind of kid who needed economic incentive to learn, but I have to admit it was a better summer job than bussing tables, mowing lawns, or working in the coal factory.