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HuffPost Book Club: The Tiger's Wife By Tea Obreht, Part 1 Of 3

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Hi HuffPost Book Club readers! We're here to discuss chapters 1-4 of Tea Obreht's 'The Tiger's Wife.'

For chapters 5-8, meet us over here!

To add to this discussion, please comment below or on our Facebook page, or you can tweet to us with the #hpbookclub hashtag. We want to hear from you.

A little about who you'll be hearing from...

Andrew Losowsky, Books Editor
I'm British, so anything you think I've spelled wrong, is actually just spelled older. I look for stories to take my brain into new spaces, and I'll be particularly discussing the facts as we think we know them, and the clues I think we're being given by the story. Let me know if you think I'm wrong!

Zoë Triska, Associate Books Editor
I was a Literature major so I can't help analyzing every single thing (from the syntax and language to metaphors, similes, you name it). I (reluctantly) admit that I'm one of those people who Googles phrases, places, names every couple of pages when I'm reading. There are constantly things that stump me, though so I'd love to hear your thoughts on the significance of words, places, phrases, events that take place in the book.

Madeleine Crum, Assistant Books Editor
I like looking at language particularities, but in case you think that's a snooze (you wouldn't be alone), I'm also interested in reading what critics say about books and whether their reviews are spot on or way off. Let's talk about it.

Annemarie Dooling, Community Editor
Quotes, locations and descriptions speak to me the same way characters do. I love dissecting the same details that tell us more about the story than the actual prose. If you read the same books over and over and over again the same way you visit an out-of-town friend, we're going to get along just fine.

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@ ABookNut : Dreamt about zoo animals in a hotel lobby. (Giraffe was very sweet). #readingtigerswife #hpbookclub

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Add to our 'Deathless Man' slideshow here.

(BTW: I couldn't *not* think of Houdini, anyone else? - Annemarie)

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@ saumyasharma19 : "Pain and fear are immediate, and when they're gone, we're left with the concept, but not the true memory." - The Tiger's Wife #hpbookclub

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This reviewer at The Observer was not a fan of "The Tiger's Wife," deeming it "a chapter book," and "not for adults." I couldn't disagree more.

Her reasoning is that Natalia's "clear-cut quests" and "earnest determination to seek the truth," her "blandly appealing intelligence" are an attempt to impress more seasoned readers and writers. Obreht is only 26, after all.

So what do you think? Is "The Tiger's Wife" really a story for kids?


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Hello book clubbers! I've been enjoying "The Tiger's Wife" while reading on the subway!

So. Chapter 4 begins with a bombing that frees a tiger from a zoo in 1941.

What did you think of Chapter 4 themes? Let us know in the comments, via email at or on Twitter at #hpbookclub!


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Admittedly, I've only read through Chapter 3. So as a disclaimer, there's a good chance I'll change my mind later in the book.

Thus far, I really don't like Natalia. My reasons for this are completely personal. I think the main reason is because I can't relate to her at all. I find her very cold, overly skeptical, and cynical. She seems unemotional about so many things.

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Chapter 3 continues with themes that are seen in the book.


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@ saumyasharma19 : .@HuffPostBooks curled up in bed on a freezing winter morning,reading the tiger's wife on my kindle = heaven on earth!! #hpbookclub

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@ JanDeLaRosa : So far, the book is the narrative equivalent of an Allende novel rewritten by Emir Kusturica #hpbookclub @HuffPostBooks

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@ marinandres : Loved the descriptio­n of the forty days of the soul's journey home. #hpbookclub #thetigerswife

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Tradition is another theme we see reemerging in this chapter. Here, it's continued to be carried on by the telling of fables, and the hallmark fable of chapter two, and possibly the first half of the book, is the story of the deathless man.

I found a lot of tweets and emails and comments from you all remarking how this interjection really solidified the reading for you. Without saying too much, let's focus on a few plot points from this story inside a story:

Spoiler alert! Click here to read on.

- Annemarie

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@ Rtnrlfy : About halfway through 'Tiger's Wife' for #hpbookclub - not resonating with any of the characters so far. Except the tiger, that is.

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Happy Sunday book clubers. I'm coming to you live from the only place open on a Sunday night on Staten Island.

Chapter two brings us lots of reoccurring themes, but most notable would be the presence of animals. Before we dip into the spoilers, what do you feel the intention of animals is at this point in the story?

Contains spoilers! Click here to read on.

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May contain a spoiler if you haven't reached this part of the story yet...

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@ jenna_goodall : Finished Chapter 1. Good introduction to vivid characters. I'm definitely intrigued to read more! What's up with the diggers? #hpbookclub

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Hi everyone! We've had a lot of questions revolving around when we will be blogging, and when you should tune in to this blog. We purposely don't want to mandate times you need to be done with your reading and encourage you to take as long as you need to, and flip back here to read along as a guide.

However, if you'd like to keep up with Team Books, we're planning to update this page twice a week, toward the end of the week, with one chapter per update. We'll be sure to give notice in our newsletters, tweets and blogs so you know when to tune in and feel free to suggest alternate schedules or thoughts.

- Annemarie

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@ HuffPostBooks : We've had some wonderful submissions for our slideshow. Where are *you* reading as part of the #HPBookClub?

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What we learn in Chapter One - and what our Books Editor, Andrew, thinks might be important

CONTAINS SPOILERS! Click here to read on

Let us know your thoughts on Chapter one below, via email at or on Twitter at #hpbookclub - we'll post the most thought provoking on here.

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Click below to read about the introduction, including some questions to think about from our Books Editor, Andrew.

Click here to read on

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It's not a book about Tiger Woods.

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Here's what some of you thought the book might be about, going on nothing but the title. Only time will tell if you're right...

Foenix Pheather:

Never having read a page I think it is about a woman who is married to a Tiger-of-a­-man. It is about her own use of imaginatio­n to escape into independen­ce.

Grey Author:

Since I know absolutely nothing about this book, save the title, I'm guessing it isn't about a tiger.

Sherlock 221B: If i have to give a guess , i think its its memoir of very famous tiger's wife of a equally famous zoo ...

Meredith Rutter:

I predict title refers to a folktale of sorts...?

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If you haven't read any of The Tiger's Wife yet, what do you think it's about?

Those of us here who haven't read it are about to answer... but what do you think? Let us know in the comments!

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Read about our Book Club here.

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