6 reviews

Tigers in Red Weather: A Novel
by Liza Klaussmann

Published: 2013-06-18
Paperback : 384 pages
46 members reading this now
13 clubs reading this now
6 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 6 members
Nick and her cousin Helena grew up in a world of sun bleached boat docks, tennis whites, and midnight gin parties at Tiger House, the family home on Martha's Vineyard. In the wake of the Second World War, the two women are on the cusp of starting their "real lives": Helena is off to ...
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Nick and her cousin Helena grew up in a world of sun bleached boat docks, tennis whites, and midnight gin parties at Tiger House, the family home on Martha's Vineyard. In the wake of the Second World War, the two women are on the cusp of starting their "real lives": Helena is off to Hollywood and a new marriage to the charismatic Avery Lewis, while Nick is heading for a reunion with her own husband, Hughes Derringer, about to return from the war. The world seems rife with possibility.

The gilt soon begins to crack. Avery is not the man he seems to be, and Hughes has grown distant, his inner light curtained over. On the brink of the 1960s, Nick and Helena-with their children Daisy and Ed-try to recapture that earlier sense of possibility. But then Daisy and Ed discover something truly awful, and the dark thread of the family's history slowly starts to unravel. The secrets and lies that each member thought long buried begin to surface.

Brilliantly told with the tempestuous elegance of F. Scott Fitzgerald and the suspenseful dark longing of Patricia Highsmith, Tigers in Red Weather is an almost unbearably compelling story of liars, lust, and secrets. It heralds the arrival of a fierce literary talent.

Editorial Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, July 2012: It’s the end of World War II, and cousins Nick and Helena part ways for the first time. Helena is moving to Hollywood and getting married; Nick goes to Florida with her veteran husband, Hughes. The women soon realize that their lives don’t match their dreams, but it takes more than twelve years and their children finding a murder victim to jar them out of their complacency. Liza Klaussmann layers the story with the distinct viewpoints of Nick, her daughter Daisy, Hughes, Helena, and Helena’s son Ed. From wartime London in the 1940s to the family beach estate, Tiger House, in the late 1960s, each character brings their own baggage to the story of a family unraveling. Secret fears, desires, and relationships come to light as facades are worn away. The unsolved murder soon becomes just one of many mysteries swirling around the Tiger House, building suspense all the way to the startling conclusion. --Malissa Kent


1945: September
I’m not sure if it’s a blessing or a curse,” Helena said.
“At least it’s something different,” Nick said. “No more goddamn ration books. No more taking the bus everywhere. Hughes said he’s bought a Buick. Hallelujah.”
“Lord knows where he got it,” Helena said. “Probably from some cheat fixer.”
“Who cares,” said Nick, stretching her arms lazily toward the New England night sky.
They were sitting in the backyard of their house on Elm Street wearing their slips and drinking gin neat out of old jelly jars. It was the hottest Indian summer anyone in Cambridge could remember.
Nick eyed the record player sitting precariously in the window. The needle was skipping.
“It’s too hot to do anything but drink,” she said, laying her head back against the rusting garden chair. Louis Armstrong was stuck repeating that he had a right to sing the blues. “The first thing I’m going to do when I get to Florida is get Hughes to buy me a whole bushel of good needles.” ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

1. Does Tigers in Red Weather have a main character? If so, who do you think it is?
2. What does the murder represent in the novel? Does it have equal impact on all of the characters?
3. Is Nick a heroine or villain? Do you believe her assertion that she didn’t have an affair with Tyler? Does she really love Daisy, or does she resent her?
4. What brings about Hughes’s newfound feelings for Nick later in the novel? Is there a specific catalyst?
5. Hughes finds Ed’s behavior disturbing throughout the novel, but it’s not just the boy’s actions he’s threatened by. How does Ed’s way of thinking, and the knowledge he’s accumulated, threaten Hughes’s relationships and his world?
6. Why is the first-person used only in Ed’s section?
7. Tigers in Red Weather is divided into five sections, each focused
on a different character. Which sections did you enjoy most and least, and why? What do you think we’re meant to feel about each of the characters? How does the author show us that some-thing is off about Ed long before his first-person narration grants us a window into his psyche?
8. Why does Helena stay with Avery, despite her unhappiness? 9. Why is so much of Daisy’s character told from a child’s point of view? What does that say about her role in the novel?
10. On page 134, after witnessing Tyler and Peaches kiss, Daisy wishes she could be like Scarlett O’Hara, independent and free, and forget about Tyler, but she’s also scared. When you were a child, who were your role models, literary or otherwise? What did they represent for you? Now that you’re older, whom do you look up to?
11. If you ranked the characters from most to least moral, where do they stand?
12. What does the title of the book mean? How is the poem related to the story?
13. On page 298, Ed tries to explain to Hughes his hunch that people are “going about it all the wrong way.” What do you think Ed means? Which people, and what would Ed approve of as the “right” way? Why does Ed’s comment so unsettle Hughes?
14. On page 351, Nick says to Hughes, “It’s the strangest thing, but I have this feeling . . . Like everything . . .” And Hughes replies, “Yes. Everything is.” Complete Nick’s sentence for her.
you imagine she’s trying to say? Given the circumstances, is there any other way to interpret it? Why do you think the author chose to leave this vague, and how did it affect your experience as a reader?
15. What did you make of the ending of Tigers in Red Weather? Do you think Ed is rehabilitated?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

not worth discussing--don\\\'t read as a club.
by Suzanni (see profile) 10/21/13

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
  "Tigers in Red Weather"by Suzanne G. (see profile) 10/21/13

Our group received "Tigers in Red Weather" as a giveaway from BookMovement. We were impressed with the lovely cover, but sadly the content didn't match the cover. One member mentioned that characters were... (read more)

  "TIGERS IN RED WEATHER"by Carol N. (see profile) 06/28/13

Story of love, hate, trust, fidelity and infidelity. . . even after having just finished it - I'm not sure how I feel about it. Set just after World War II (1946)
through the late 1964's, a
... (read more)

  "Tigers in Red Weather"by Cindy D. (see profile) 04/05/13

This book has been overexposed - and really doesn't deserve the hype that it received.

  "I would actually give it a 3.5"by Colleen B. (see profile) 09/25/12

I enjoyed this book, although none of the characters were likeable. It was well written, fast paced and kept you wanting to read more.

  "ODD"by Kristi F. (see profile) 09/06/12

This is such an odd story and overall just did not feel like there was anything redeeming about it. The story is told by five points of view, one person at a time, that in itself causes som... (read more)

  "Merely "ok""by Lisa H. (see profile) 08/28/12

Not much of a story. I don't understand the hype for this book.

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