Saturday, 16 January 2016

Tigers in Red Weather

Finished January 11
Tigers in Red Weather by Liza Klaussmann

This novel begins just after World War II when two cousins Nick and Helena leave their shared home in New York to go to their husbands. Nick's husband Hughes is returning from the war and is stationed in Florida where they live in a small bungalow with a canal behind it. Helena is joining her fiance Avery in California to get married and live there. Helena's first husband was killed in the war and she doesn't know her new man all that well, something Nick worries about. Neither woman finds their situation to be what they expected. Avery is consumed by the idea of a dead actress, and has a relationship of some sort with a director, staying in a small house on the director's property. Hughes seems to be more remote than he was before the war, and Nick has trouble fitting into the community socially.
Nick's family owns a vacation home, Tiger House, on Martha's Vineyard, with Helena's family cottage just next door. This is a base that the women keep returning to, and we first see them there in 1959 when they both have 12-year-old children, Daisy and Ed. It is this first summer that the two children discover a dead body, the victim of a brutal attack, and this discovery with come up again later in the story.
This novel is separated into five sections, each with a different narrator. It begins with Nick, then moves to Daisy, then to Helena, then Hughes, and ends with Ed. Some of these have overlapping time periods, particularly the summer of 1959.
This is a book of two women who both love each other, and compete with each other. Their personal difficulties are an influence on their children, and shape their lives.

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