Charles Simic for the New York Review of Books, in an article titled, "The Weird Beauty of the Well-Told Tale," wrote: "One comes to realize that The Tiger’s Wife, with its many different stories, is a novel of immense complexity. First, it is an extended elegy for the narrator’s beloved grandfather, a man with a life story entangled in the fate of the country once known as Yugoslavia, who was able to maintain his compassion and decency in time of ethnic hatred and violence; it is also a lament for all those anonymous men, women, and children made homeless in these cruel and senseless wars. Like the Arabian Nights, it is a book about storytelling and its power to enchant as it wards off death and postpones the inevitable. 'When confronted by the extremes of life—whether good or bad,' Obreht writes, 'people would turn first to superstition to find meaning, to stitch together unconnected events in order to understand what was happening.' Not only to understand, I would say, but to experience the sheer beauty of the well-told tale, as she reminds us, again and again, in her truly marvelous and memorable first novel."
Liesl Schillinger for the New York Times Book Review, in an article titled, "A Mythic Novel of the Balkan Wars," writes: "Filled with astonishing immediacy and presence, fleshed out with detail that seems firsthand, “The Tiger’s Wife” is all the more remarkable for being the product not of observation but of imagination."
And finally, Lucy Daniel of the Daily Telegraph writes that Obreht is "a natural-born storyteller and this is a startlingly suggestive novel about the dying out of myths and superstitions, and rituals that bind people to places: the retreat of the spirits."
Not all of its reception has been has wonderful though, as seen in a blurb written by various staff members at Slate Magazine, Rachael Larimore writes, "I had mixed feelings upon finishing this debut novel, which was serialized in The New Yorker and landed its author on the National Book Foundation’s “5 under 35” list. [...] Obreht writes with the wisdom of someone far older than her 26 years, masterfully weaving together both past and present, myth and reality. But she also handles her characters unevenly. Those who populate the stories of her grandfather’s childhood—the tiger’s wife of the title; Darisa, the great bear hunter; even Luka, the abusive butcher with a colorful past—are rich and complex. But the modern-day characters, the ones who tie the story together and bring it to its conclusion, are two-dimensional by comparison."
Also not incredibly impressed was Kapka Kassabova of The Guardian. In this review, Kassabova writes: "The Tiger's Wife is a frisky tiger cub chasing its tail – it covers a lot of ground, growls a lot, and never quite gets there, but we have fun along the way. What the novel lacks in emotional depth, it makes up for in personality and sheer wackiness."
Have you formed an opinion yet? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the novel so far!