The blurb: Nick and her cousin, Helena, have grown up sharing sultry summers at Tiger House, the glorious old family estate on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. As World War II ends they are on the cusp of adulthood, the world seeming to offer itself up to them. Helena is leaving for Hollywood and a new marriage, while Nick is to be reunited with her young husband Hughes, due to return from London and the war. Everything is about to change.
Neither quite finds the life she had imagined, and as the years pass, the trips to Tiger House take on a new complexity. Then, on the brink of the 1960s, Nick’s daughter Daisy and Helena’s son Ed make a sinister discovery. It plunges the island’s bright heat into private shadow and sends a depth-charge to the heart of the family.
Magnificently told from five perspectives, Tigers in Red Weather is an unforgettable debut: a simmering novel of passion, betrayal and secret violence beneath a polished and fragile facade.
My review: Wow this is a truly fantastic book, evocative and emotive of a time just out of reach, Tigers is a polished, captivating read that I couldn’t put down. I was immediately transported to America in the forties and fifties, the restraint and the decadence, the war of control and appearances that seemed to have every family in it’s grasp.
Comparision to F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby are for once completely justified. It’s a carefully plotted and sensual book full of family secrets and history, not just within the characters themselves but also infused into their dealings with others and the locations the action is set.
It has a surprising ending, somewhere in the latter half of the book it turns from being a Gatsby-esque portrait of a bygone era to a crime novel which I didn’t see coming, although Gatsby in itself could be called a crime novel too! It just seemed to go from beauteous eloquence and mystery, to slightly tarnished essentially human dirty deeds, it brought me down to earth with a bump. But I wasn’t disappointed, the ending was well worked out and fitted in what needed to happen.
But that little hiccup aside this is a wonderful read and one I would recommend to all and sundry!
9 out of 10 stars! *********
BUY ME! Tigers in Red Weather