The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo
This is not a book I would have typically chosen, although I definitely would have picked it up and admired the beautiful cover! This book came to me as the September pick for the book discussion group at my local library.
Set in Malaysia in the 1930’s, it is full of superstitions and antiquated gender roles. It has two separate stories, with two distinct narration styles. The story lines clearly have a link, but it takes much of the book to learn how it’s significant.
One story is told about Ren. He is young (11-ish), ‘working’ as a houseboy. His recent master has died and Ren has been tasked with locating an important object to be buried in the masters grave. This story is told in third person narrative.
The other story is about Ji Lin, a young woman working as an apprentice to a dressmaker by day and working at a dance hall as a dance instructor at night. In the first chapter of her story, told in first person, she gains possession of the very item that Ren is looking for.
The story is wonderfully crafted, the storylines wind around each other with unexpected turns along the way.
There is so much to talk about, it makes a great book club pick. Grab a copy of this beautiful book and when you’re done, I would love to hear your thoughts. (especially what you think about the 2 narrative styles)
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