Happy publication day to Polly Clark, Tiger is out today!
Set across two continents, Tiger is a sweeping story of survival and redeeming love that plunges the reader into one of the world’s last wildernesses with blistering authenticity.
Frieda is a primatologist, sensitive and solitary, until a violent attack shatters her ordered world. In her new role as a zookeeper, she confronts a very different ward: an injured wild tiger.
Deep in the Siberian taiga, Tomas, a Russian conservationist, fears that the natural order has toppled. The king tiger has been killed by poachers and a spectacular tigress now patrols his vast territory as her own.
In a winter of treacherous competition, the path of the tigress and her cub crosses with an Udeghe huntress and her daughter. Vengeance must follow, and the fates of both tigers and people are transformed.
Learning of her tiger’s past offers Frieda the chance of freedom. Faced with the savage forces of nature, she must trust to her instinct and, like the tiger, find a way to live in the world.
One of the best things about books is the journey they take you on, through the power of storytelling you can visit different countries and see the world through the eyes of others, man and animal – and it’s truly an amazing experience. When I read the blurb for Tiger, I really liked the sound of it because I love reading about wild animals; this novel exceeded all my expectations. Do you ever finish a novel, and immediately know it’s one you’ll reread in the future? Tiger is that novel for me.
It opens with Frieda’s story, and, bloody hell, I was invested from the offset, not necessary because of Frieda’s story (although it’s an interesting one), but the way Clark told it, her literary style really drew me in. And this tale was weaved together expertly, the paths of these characters crossed in a way that shows the thought that went into the plotting. The characters in this novel were flawed in their own way, and every time the narrative shifted and we got to know a new character, I was equally invested; the changing narratives really helped this novel come full circle.
As the title states, the ultimate lure to this novel, was the tiger, and yes, she has a perspective too! And it was fantastic, one I was so invested in, it’s so gripping [to me] to read about the lives of wild animals, their survival techniques and how they care for their young, it fascinates me. Clark really penned an immersive tale, you’re transported to the location of each character; the cold landscapes particularly added to the overall atmosphere, intensifying the reading experience.
I really enjoyed the literary storytelling, the changing narratives, the authenticity. But, also the tender heart of this novel, the quiet emotional aspect that runs through it – the display of familial relationships (human and animal), and the ability to piece your world back together when it has been shattered.
*My thanks to the publisher (Quercus) for providing me with a copy of this book*