BOOK CLUB: Tigers In Red Weather

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Author: Liza Klaussmann
ISBN: 9781447212201
RRP: $27.99

Tigers in Red Weather is an intriguing tale that follows five lead characters and spans a period of almost 25 years, beginning in the final stages of World War II.


I wasn’t sure whether I was going to enjoy this novel with it’s WWII backdrop and married bliss but at the same time I wasn’t sure what to expect. I certainly enjoyed it more than I anticipated and it kept me thinking throughout. The title certainly had me curious and it didn’t fit with the image on the cover of a beautiful woman in a yellow bathing suit.

The significance of the bathing suit is explained rather early on but the title didn’t come clear until the very end, and now I know where it came from but I’m still a little confused.

Tigers in Red Weather has five lead characters and the story is told from each perspective, so at times you will read the same incident multiple times. It was definitely interesting to read the same incident from different points of view because there were times you had to wonder if they really were the same incident. The first four sections are told in the third person with a narrator we never identify and yet the last part is told in the first person which leads me to think that this is his story. There may be five lead characters, all with interesting storylines of their own but the novel is undoubtedly his story.

tigers in red weather

Beginning in the end stages of WWII with Nick and Helena, who are two young women ready to embark on new lives further apart than they have ever been. It took me a while to get my head around Nick being a woman, for some reason it sounded very masculine in my head. Nick and Helena are cousins who have grown up in close proximity to one another and during the war share a house in Cambridge. The book begins on the eve of a grand new adventure for the pair, each of them is leaving their little shared house and moving on to married life. Nick with the man she married who then went off to war and left her behind; and Helena is crossing the country to find wedded bliss with second husband Avery Lewis in Hollywood.

Hughes is Nick’s husband, a war veteran who returned unharmed but still a different man. He seems distant and closed off from Nick, their marriage isn’t quite what either of them expected. There is also the next generation of cousins in Daisy and Ed.

In a nutshell (perhaps more apt than intended) these are our five leads and they take us from Cambridge in 1945 to 1969 with most of the story playing out at Tiger House, the holiday house passed down to Nick.

Tiger House is where the cream of society spend their summers and have their fun. It’s also where Daisy and Ed are forced to grow up, maybe not quite the way anyone envisioned for them.

The characters are unique and well fleshed, each of them flawed though some more so than others. It is these flaws that make it so difficult to put together the pieces early on, there is enough uncertainty that you can’t quite be sure what you think happened and made for quite an interesting sense of suspense.

Emotional turmoil is rife throughout and there aren’t a great deal of happy days, for anyone. Secrets abound and each of the leads lets you in on some to make for a debut novel overflowing with passion, betrayal and booze. Some surprising twists and the added insight of differing accounts of the same incident.

Thank you Klaussmann for such an engaging debut and I will be sure to watch out for what’s to follow.

 

14 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Tigers In Red Weather

  1. Must read this novel. I love family type sagas – something to really get my teeth into and escape from reality albeit briefly.

  2. This story is told by 5 different characters and all with different views. At first I couldn’t get into the book and wasn’t sure it was one I was going to like. Once I got past the first 2 characters I really got stuck into it. I’m still slightly confused and don’t understand it but it really is a good read. The last part of the story is told by ‘Ed’, I’m not sure what’s wrong with him but he is certainly the best character to read about. I’m not sure my review does this book any justice but it is one to read, if anything it’s a story I won’t forget in a hurry and still has me wondering about it. I’m looking forward to reading other peoples take on it.

  3. I loved this book, and I love how it broken down into sections for each character to get a different perspective on all the things going on. The characters stand on their own and the interwoven story is really great. Apart from Hughes’ part of the book the story is mostly set post world war 2. Nick is a feisty and carefree young woman who is married to Hughes who fought in the war. Reading the book it is easy to see what caused the issues in their relationship, Nick with her coldness in later years, and Hughes’ with his almost non existence in his own life and his family’s. The war took its toll on the couple as much as it did on the world.
    They have a daughter Daisy, which I don’t think Nick initially wanted, she was happy being able to do her own thing. She is quite hard on Daisy as she is growing up, but there are glimpses of warmth, although rarely. Nick seems to get more distant and guarded as the story progresses.
    Then there is Helena, Nick’s fair headed cousin who’s first husband died in the war and she is remarrying Avery Lewis in the beginning of the book. Helena leads the life of a desperately abused woman who I think really just wanted to be loved and wanted someone to see her and not see through her. Her life is full of ups and downs and in the end so many more downs than ups, drugs, booze and who knows what else sens Helena into a spiral which Nick tries to fix but the complications in their relationship have worsened over the years.
    Helena and Avery had a son, Ed. Ed was a strange child from his introduction into the book, just reading about him and also reading his story in the last part of the book was like looking into a very dark gloomy place, something that makes you cringe because something just isn’t quite right. Ed said everything he did was for research, he was definitely a very troubled young man.
    Tigers In Red Weather, was a great book of good times and bad, and a family pulled in different directions because of their own wants and needs and desires, and it gives you a real gritty look into the life and times of a family struggling with human failings and what they need to do to keep it all together

    1. Well done, Kelly – I haven’t formulated my review yet but it keeps going round in my head !!!! Finding it difficult to review the book without giving anything away that would spoil it for a new reader.

      Loved the book, thought it was so well written. Your review is excellent.

  4. Not my favourite book as I personally find the break down into character chapters very tedious –having to read the same story again and again with slightly different perspectives. I was waiting to find out how the story line would end but Ed,s story which brings all other perspectives together for the finale was not as fascinating as I would have expected. Having read many stories of post war life and having myself been a child in the 1950 ,s I did not feel the author did justice to the reality of that period in time. Overall it was well written and the characters were well developed and realistic but I am still curious as to Ed,s condition .
    I am sure many readers will love this book but it just did not suit my personal taste in novels so I find it difficult to be objective.

  5. An invigorating read, one I really looked forward to and I couldnt put it down. I found that in the first four characters more was in what was not written but I did like the authors attention to detail and making sure that the stories married up. I also liked the fact that they jumped back and forward in time, it made a really interesting read.

    I wasnt too keen on the name Nick for the main character as I thought it was a man and it irked me through out the book, but as it turns out, she was a masculine character.

    I still dont understand the title, but for a first book, Liza has done a very complete job and wrote it very well.

  6. It took me a while to get into this book, partly due to the fact I think that I started to read it as soon as I had finished reading The Taliban Cricket Club and my heart and mind were still in Afghanistan under the Taliban.
    Tigers in Red Leather unfolds over two decades in a jigsaw or mosaic like fashion and chronicles all manner of heartbreak, including jealousy, adultery and fractious familial relationships The story is told from the point of view of each the five major characters in turn – Nick, her daughter Daisy, husband Nick, cousin Helena and Helena’s son Ed. Each section provides different perspectives of the same events but also introduces different elements to the story. It jumps back and forth through time, revisiting the summer of 1959 in particular – the summer that Daisy and Ed find a dead body behind the tennis court.
    I didn’t necessarily like all the characters in the book but I was certainly intrigued by them. Nick, the spoilt, restless beauty, Hughes the rather distant, self controlled and rather ineffectual husband, Helena the poor cousin and abused wife, Daisy the daughter overshadowed by her glamorous mother and lacking a real sense of herself and Ed, Helena’s rather creepy and damaged son.
    The story from Ed’s point of view is the final section of the book and is also the shortest. I would have liked more. I didn’t feel I had really come to grips with his character and am not sure that the ending is really satisfying.
    Overall Tigers in Red Weather is an atmospheric, intriguing, somewhat disturbing, well written novel and a good read.

  7. Tiger’s in Red Weather is not one of my favourite books to read, it was very difficult to get into it, and me personally found that it jumped around to much.
    Nicks chapter was the hardest to follow, I found that i was getting interested in part of it and turned the page only to find myself going back as it felt like i had maybe missed a page. Tigers In Red Weather does not do justice for the author.
    It did not do justice to post war stories i have read, it came across like one of those short story Romance books, Although Ed’s Chapter did seem to put all the other chapters into persective.
    Unfortunately i would have to give Tiger’s In Red Weather a thumbs down.

  8. Tigers in Red Weather is a beautifully written book that weaves the characters, timelines and settings so well.I particularly liked the interaction of the characters and the way different circumstances affected and changed their lives.
    The complexity of the characters and the way Tiger House plays such an important part in their lives made this a novel I wanted to keep on reading.
    The book is written in five sections, each dealing with a different character. I was impressed with the way the sections dealt with the particular character but mingled with the other family members, never losing sight of the way each was alone but intertwined with others.
    I liked the way the book flowed and although it frequently mixed the past and present you didn’t ever feel as though you had no idea where you were.
    The characters were real people with problems, hopes and expectations that didn’t always materialise.
    I have a major problem in reviewing the book because the story was so well told that to give details, thus making it easier for someone to decide whether they’d like to read the book, would spoil the story, something I have no intention of doing.
    The “Tigers” part of the novel’s title is obvious quite early on, being the beautiful old family estate, the “in Red Weather” doesn’t appear until the last page, as a line in a poem.
    I loved the way Lisa Klaussmann told the story and how involved I became. A wonderful debut novel, well worth reading.

  9. Tigers in Red Weather is slow at first but don’t put it down. The author tells the story from different characters perspectives so you feel as though you know each character intimately, probably better than they know each other. Some you like more than others, I personally found myself being quite judgmental of some characters’ choices and I don’t know if that is the author’s intention or is she intended for the reader to empathise with the characters. Certainly they do a lot of things that I would never do. It is difficult to say much without giving the story away. But it is definitely worth a read, I love stories set in different era’s and this one is particuarly good at bringing the past alive but also reminding us of how far we have come.

  10. So excited for this book.
    And I love how it is told from different perspectives. It is really iinteresting and makes the story so much more interesting.
    The summary didn’t really highlight everything, it wasn’t just finding the dead girl but it was about a young girl trying to win a tennis match, a woman who’s husband is really weird and has an unusual obsession and it’s about a family.

  11. Like several others who commented here I found this book a bit difficult to get into. I think the first chapter threw me, i had difficulty placing the characters in context – but it didn’t take too long to establish the rlationships and loctions. My favorite chapter is the one from Helena’s perspective as I was very intrigued by her troubled character. I don’t want to give too much away but I think this would be a perfect holiday read and I look forward to the next venture by this author.

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