When her grandfather dies in
mysterious circumstances, Natalia disassembles his life and the
special relationship they shared. Having followed in his footsteps and trained as a doctor, Natalia had
embraced the rational approach of medical science, only now to find it in conflict with the mythical stories she uncovers as she seeks to make sense of his life.
Moving between the past and present of their
troubled Balkan homeland, this is a story imbued with magic realism and rich with the fairy tales and
superstitions of Eastern Europe.
2011 Orange Prize for Fiction.
Comments from Groups
We all enjoyed this book. Obreht's ability to weave so many threads together is impressive. Hokianga 001
Everyone found it a fascinating if somewhat challenging book. The quality of the writing is tremendous. Hamilton 003
Three members enjoyed this book and the rest (seven) didn't enjoy it. It is the sort of book you need to finish in a reasonably short time or you lose the thread of the story. Although it polarised readers, the discussion was lively and interesting. Christchurch 318
Most members didn't complete reading the book. Four of us loved it and and were enchanted by the storytelling and mythical quality. A reader has to suspend logic and just flow with the story. Gisborne 006
The book was very stimulating. It needs to be read without too many interruptions. Those who had picked it up and put it down got lost. Thames 002
We enjoyed the read, liked the language and the story. Story was brutal history. Hard to put it all together and make sense of it. Interesting concept of the Deathless Man. Those that read it discussed the story trying to understand the many ideas presented. The meaning was not easily 'accessible'.
This was the sort of book you needed to finish in a reasonably short time, or you lost the thread of the story. The narrative ( we thought it was like a fairy tale) had many parts to it, but the common threads throughout were the tiger and death. Although the story polarised readers, the discussion was lively and interesting. In many cases it clarified points.
Really enjoyed it. Good discussion about Kashmir, India , Pakistan and the role of women in these countries.
An amazing first novel from such a young writer. Not sure we all "enjoyed" it, but an interesting read.
Members' opinions sparked a lively discussion! Generally we liked her writing, but found the threads confusing at times, and this lack of clarity led to a feeling of disappointment for some members.
No one found this an easy read but it was a compelling read. Almost everyone read it through to the end. An interesting insight into the Balkans; an area most of our group know little about. A complex book that challenges what constitutes faith in the modern age.
Imaginative and with some wonderfully written passages. But a difficult read - most members made several attempts to start, and some did not finish. Provoked a very good discussion.
The book was a lovely story. Not a lot happened, but it was a nice change and interesting to read about a country so different to our own.