Catch a Tiger
“Those whom we most love are often the most alien to us."
– Christopher Paolini, Eldest
Nick and Helena are cousins in Liza Klaussmann’s Tigers in Red Weather. They have spent their childhood summers together on Martha’s Vineyard at Tiger House, their
grandparent’s summer home, and continue to come back as adults with their own families. They both have husbands who have gone off to fight in World War II. (Nick’s husband comes back; Helena’s does not.) And they both have dark sides to their personalities that make them ultimately unknowable to those that love them the most.
When their children, Daisy and Ed, come across a dead body, everyone’s life changes in ways that no one could have predicted. The novel is driven by the family relationships and the body becomes a catalyst that changes the family dynamic. The author dives into the characters, exposing their imperfections and their strengths as they try to understand one another, without exposing their own secrets which could potentially tear the family apart.
The story is told through multiple points of view, so we see the same set of events through different eyes. With each re-telling, we gain a little more information and the puzzles make a little more sense. By the end, we have the whole (sometimes sordid) story. Even though life on the Island might seem like it’s all gin and tonics in the sun, you never know what secrets lurk beneath the surface.