I’ve been holding off from writing this for a while, mainly because I’m torn on the novel. Tigers in Red Weather was such a hyped book on social network platforms that I couldn’t help but be intrigued. I’m a sucker for books set in post ww2 America as the age fascinates me. I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting, but the preceding pages had me surprised.
What starts as a melancholic family drama becomes a very different beast as it grows. The opening half of the novel paints a picture of family tensions during a hot summer and the author accomplishes transporting the reader into that oppressive environment. We meet each member and experience their story through their eyes. The idea of the narrative being told through many different voices is well implemented and keeps the audience engrossed.
However, as the second half opens the novel transforms into, almost, a psychological thriller. Suddenly, set against the backdrop of this family imploding we watch as one member unravels at the seams. Nothing more can be said than that as the mystery is rather enthralling.
The reason I’m so torn is because of this amalgamation. For me, at least, the sudden switch in tone and plot was jarring. It’s not as if either branch of the story is bad, its just awkward. I imagine it as a car that has been ‘cut and shut, which is when two different cars have been cut in half and welded together. It looks normal from the outside, but they don’t quite fit.
Throughout my read through I admired the tension that Liza created and it culminated in a gripping dénouement. Despite it all, the thought of the book makes me go ‘gnnnngh’.
Published by Picador. This book was kindly sent by the publisher for review.