So it seems I have been suckered in to choosing my next read by good old fashioned advertising. After passing the same posters numerous times, I was persuaded to pick up (or rather download) Tigers in Red Weather. What a few choice words from my favourite magazines won’t do… I'm pleased to say, in this case, they've actually got it right.
Tigers is a whirlwind of a read that I couldn’t put down. Set on the glamorous US East Coast in post war society, the novel tells the story of a family who summer at Tiger House. The story spans twenty years and hinges around one summer where a local maid is found dead on the island. The story has undertones of To Kill a Mockingbird, bringing to life the idea that one event in a community has an effect on everyone and unknowingly, can seep into all areas of their lives.
Klaussmann’s cast of characters really bring the story to life. Staring with Nick, a bit of a siren, married young with a traumatised husband back from the war; fast forwarding to her blonde bombshell of a daughter Daisy who is mostly concerned with winning her next tennis tournament and ending with her cousin Ed who is downright creepy. While each is obnoxious in their own way, caught up by their own heart breaks and disappointments, they are also uniquely endearing. Seeing the same situations through the perspective of a different relation adds depth and humour to quite a dark story.
Tigers is a haunting book that combines the familiar 1950’s from Mad Men, with its glamorous parties, chilled martinis and smatterings of extra marital sex; with a mounting tension and a sense that something bad is going to happen: as if we are witnessing another crack forming in an already fragile society. It’s like a hot, sticky summer that you won’t forget in a while.