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Melissa_W
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THE TIGER'S WIFE: Week 1, Chapters 1 - 3

Please use this thread for discussion of Chapters 1 - 3 of The Tiger's Wife.

Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
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Fozzie
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Re: THE TIGER'S WIFE: Week 1, Chapters 1 - 3

The mystery surrounding Natalia’s grandfather’s death immediately pulled me into the book.  Why had he travelled, claiming to be meeting up with Natalia, yet she knew nothing about it?  Yes, she and her grandfather had hidden his illness from her grandmother, but was that connected to his purpose?

 

The story of Gavran Gaile is very mysterious too.  Is this story meant to be realistic or a folk tale or both?  It is written in such a matter-of-fact way, that I can’t help but believe it is real.  Have either of you read The Gargoyle?  That way that story was written, I couldn’t help but believe it was real, even though the rational part of my brain knew it couldn’t be.  I felt the same about the idea of the deathless man.

 

The Gargoyle  

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
Melissa_W
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Re: THE TIGER'S WIFE: Week 1, Chapters 1 - 3

I had to go back and review my thoughts on The Gargoyle.  I remember being so involved in the beginning of the story, the inner rage of the main character about fate, unfairness, the physical pain, but then I started to not care very much.  Davidson created some wonderful musings about mysticism, addiction, faith, and art but put so many loops and turns in the narrative that I kept having to back up and re-read, something I don't really like to do much with novels.


Fozzie wrote:

The mystery surrounding Natalia’s grandfather’s death immediately pulled me into the book.  Why had he travelled, claiming to be meeting up with Natalia, yet she knew nothing about it?  Yes, she and her grandfather had hidden his illness from her grandmother, but was that connected to his purpose?

 

The story of Gavran Gaile is very mysterious too.  Is this story meant to be realistic or a folk tale or both?  It is written in such a matter-of-fact way, that I can’t help but believe it is real.  Have either of you read The Gargoyle?  That way that story was written, I couldn’t help but believe it was real, even though the rational part of my brain knew it couldn’t be.  I felt the same about the idea of the deathless man.

 

The Gargoyle  


 

Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
Melissa_W
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Re: THE TIGER'S WIFE: Week 1, Chapters 1 - 3

Along those same lines...I kept waiting for the mysticism to arrive in TTW - everything is painted with a realistic brush so I keep waiting for something unearthly to happen - whereas in The Gargoyle the mysticism is promised from the outset so I was a bit underwhelmed when the odd visions and dreams started.


Melissa_W wrote:

I had to go back and review my thoughts on The Gargoyle.  I remember being so involved in the beginning of the story, the inner rage of the main character about fate, unfairness, the physical pain, but then I started to not care very much.  Davidson created some wonderful musings about mysticism, addiction, faith, and art but put so many loops and turns in the narrative that I kept having to back up and re-read, something I don't really like to do much with novels.


Fozzie wrote:

The mystery surrounding Natalia’s grandfather’s death immediately pulled me into the book.  Why had he travelled, claiming to be meeting up with Natalia, yet she knew nothing about it?  Yes, she and her grandfather had hidden his illness from her grandmother, but was that connected to his purpose?

 

The story of Gavran Gaile is very mysterious too.  Is this story meant to be realistic or a folk tale or both?  It is written in such a matter-of-fact way, that I can’t help but believe it is real.  Have either of you read The Gargoyle?  That way that story was written, I couldn’t help but believe it was real, even though the rational part of my brain knew it couldn’t be.  I felt the same about the idea of the deathless man.

 

The Gargoyle  


 


 

Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
Wordsmith
Fozzie
Posts: 2,404
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: THE TIGER'S WIFE: Week 1, Chapters 1 - 3

Yes, The Tiger's Wife is written so that it all seems possible.  More than posible --- real.  I would't call it magical realism because the style seems too stright forward for that.  Maybe folk tale realism?

Melissa_W wrote:

Along those same lines...I kept waiting for the mysticism to arrive in TTW - everything is painted with a realistic brush so I keep waiting for something unearthly to happen - whereas in The Gargoyle the mysticism is promised from the outset so I was a bit underwhelmed when the odd visions and dreams started.


Melissa_W wrote:

I had to go back and review my thoughts on The Gargoyle.  I remember being so involved in the beginning of the story, the inner rage of the main character about fate, unfairness, the physical pain, but then I started to not care very much.  Davidson created some wonderful musings about mysticism, addiction, faith, and art but put so many loops and turns in the narrative that I kept having to back up and re-read, something I don't really like to do much with novels.


Fozzie wrote:

The mystery surrounding Natalia’s grandfather’s death immediately pulled me into the book.  Why had he travelled, claiming to be meeting up with Natalia, yet she knew nothing about it?  Yes, she and her grandfather had hidden his illness from her grandmother, but was that connected to his purpose?

 

The story of Gavran Gaile is very mysterious too.  Is this story meant to be realistic or a folk tale or both?  It is written in such a matter-of-fact way, that I can’t help but believe it is real.  Have either of you read The Gargoyle?  That way that story was written, I couldn’t help but believe it was real, even though the rational part of my brain knew it couldn’t be.  I felt the same about the idea of the deathless man.

 

The Gargoyle  


 


 


 

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
Melissa_W
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Re: THE TIGER'S WIFE: Week 1, Chapters 1 - 3

 Folk tale realism - I like it!

 

Last year (year before?) I read a book Fearless Girls, Wise Women and Beloved Sisters, a collection of women-centered folktales from around the world, and one thing I noticed was that many central/eastern European and Russian folktales are very earthy.  Everything could be real...except for that one little bit.  The baba yaga could be your baba yaga.  The same with with Grandfather's stories.  They are all rooted in a real event but there's just that one little bit that seems unearthly (like the incident with the tiger that opens the book - extremely stressful events often seem impossible in hindsight).

 


Fozzie wrote:
Yes, The Tiger's Wife is written so that it all seems possible.  More than posible --- real.  I would't call it magical realism because the style seems too stright forward for that.  Maybe folk tale realism?

Melissa_W wrote:

Along those same lines...I kept waiting for the mysticism to arrive in TTW - everything is painted with a realistic brush so I keep waiting for something unearthly to happen - whereas in The Gargoyle the mysticism is promised from the outset so I was a bit underwhelmed when the odd visions and dreams started.

 

 

Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
Wordsmith
Fozzie
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: THE TIGER'S WIFE: Week 1, Chapters 1 - 3


Melissa_W wrote:

 Folk tale realism - I like it!

 

Last year (year before?) I read a book Fearless Girls, Wise Women and Beloved Sisters, a collection of women-centered folktales from around the world, and one thing I noticed was that many central/eastern European and Russian folktales are very earthy.  Everything could be real...except for that one little bit.  The baba yaga could be your baba yaga.  The same with with Grandfather's stories.  They are all rooted in a real event but there's just that one little bit that seems unearthly (like the incident with the tiger that opens the book - extremely stressful events often seem impossible in hindsight).

 


This books looks fascinating!  I just requested it through my library system.

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Peppermill
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Re: THE TIGER'S WIFE: Week 1, Chapters 1 - 3

[ Edited ]

Enjoyed your discussion here of chapters 1-3.  I have finally finished reading the book and since Laura kindly offered to come back and discuss some more, I'll try to say a few things that might be cogent!

 

The Gavran Gaile tale continues to mystify me long after the last sentence was reached.  Reading this book, I am convinced, was not an ideal one for a first one on an ebook!  I kept wanting to go back and look up things and I didn't find that easy to do and not lose my place.  (I have been reading other things as well and am beginning to love my ebook, however.  It is so easy to take with me, I like being able to adjust the font size, I like having access to multiple books from a small footprint, the light on my cover permits me to read in theatres while waiting, all sorts of good things like that.  Sorry for the digression.)

 

Anyway, I spent dinner last night discussing the book with another woman who had read it, sorting out many of the threads that interweave in this book.  But, we didn't succeed with the Gavran Gaile story.  This morning I spent some time with online comments (other than here), but they weren't much help either.  In fact, it was rather encouraging to see how many readers seemed to be struggling with that story.  I hope I shall discover you have untangled it as I work my way through these posts.  One does really get a sense of how stories, myths, fairy tales, superstitions can overlay daily lives. 

 

(I have not read The Gargoyle.  I am going to resist being intrigued for now.)

 

I'll be back, but not tonight, and maybe not on this thread.  I'll try hard not to post spoilers for anyone that might be following these alongside their own reading, but I don't remember where everything lies without rechecking, which I may not take the time to do, so I'll try to err on late rather than early side.

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Fozzie
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Re: THE TIGER'S WIFE: Week 1, Chapters 1 - 3


Peppermill wrote:

 

 

Anyway, I spent dinner last night discussing the book with another woman who had read it, sorting out many of the threads that interweave in this book.  But, we didn't succeed with the Gavran Gaile story.  This morning I spent some time with online comments (other than here), but they weren't much help either.  In fact, it was rather encouraging to see how many readers seemed to be struggling with that story.  I hope I shall discover you have untangled it as I work my way through these posts.  One does really get a sense of how stories, myths, fairy tales, superstitions can overlay daily lives. 

 

 


I posted a link to a blog in the book as a whole section that I found helpful for putting the whole book together.  Please see that and see if it helps.

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Fozzie
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Re: THE TIGER'S WIFE: Week 1, Chapters 1 - 3


Peppermill wrote:

 

Reading this book, I am convinced, was not an ideal one for a first one on an ebook!  I kept wanting to go back and look up things and I didn't find that easy to do and not lose my place.  (I have been reading other things as well and am beginning to love my ebook, however.  It is so easy to take with me, I like being able to adjust the font size, I like having access to multiple books from a small footprint, the light on my cover permits me to read in theatres while waiting, all sorts of good things like that.  Sorry for the digression.)

 

 


I don't think this would be a good book to read on an e-reader.  I back tracked many, many times while reeading the book.  It was work to put it all together!  I can't imagine doing that on an e-reader!  My guess, since I don't own one, is that e-readers are great for a lot of reading, but are not great for all reading.  Kind of like all technology in my opinion.  Even if you have a food processor, you still use a knife to chop thing too.

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Fozzie
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Re: THE TIGER'S WIFE: Week 1, Chapters 1 - 3


Peppermill wrote:

 

(I have not read The Gargoyle.  I am going to resist being intrigued for now.)

 

 



That's one of the great things about books --- they wait patiently for you.  :smileyhappy:

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.