Tigers in Red Weather: A Novel

Tigers in Red Weather: A Novel

3.7 45
by Liza Klaussmann
     
 

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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

Overview

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 Reviews

Rory O'Connor
"A riveting, deeply moving tale of the unraveling of one family's mysteries."
Melanie Smith
"An astounding debut and undoubtedly one of the best books of the year."
Ilana Teitelbaum
"A suspenseful story that is by turns a mystery, an examination of a marriage and an exploration of the possibly fatal consequences of self-deception."
Cynthia Wolfe Boynton
"A richly crafted story in which the setting is as much a character as those who inhabit it.... Klaussmann has created an exquisite and evocative story of family secrets that leaves the reader exhausted, exhilarated and, in tiger fashion, roaring for more."
Ron Charles
"Exceedingly clever.... An elegant playbook on passive aggression, a study of the desires and resentments that burn away souls behind teeth-clenched smiles... Klaussmann is a master at unexpressed despair."
Megan Abbott
"Shot through with glamour and the glint of family secrets, TIGERS IN RED WEATHER has you immediately in its clutches. Intensely evocative, it is by turns unbearably febrile and utterly chilling, and often both at once."
USA Today
"With echoes of Nancy Drew murder mysteries and The Great Gatsby that extend well beyond the names Nick and Daisy-plus allusions to Wallace Stevens, to which it owes its abstruse title-TIGERS IN RED WEATHER is a deftly constructed, suspenseful family melodrama that exposes the dark innards of privilege."
Sara Vilkomerson
"[Klaussmann's]...sharp observations and lyrical prose make for a poignant read."
Helen Rogan
"[Klaussmann's] cooked up a deft, nasty plot."
Rochelle O'Gorman
"Zings with insight.... Klaussmann boldly uses five points of view to reveal the quiet desperation, hidden mental illness and politely bared fangs in a generation adrift in privileged mid-century America.... An intellectual and highly entertaining novel that recalls such classic writers as Fitzgerald."
Alice Fishburn
"Gothic meets Martha's Vineyard in a thriller that captures a repressed generation and claustrophobic family relations.... Klaussmann has an eye for the small gesture that detonates an emotional bomb.... Throughout, [she] questions how to navigate a postwar world, and where women, specifically Nick and her aspirations, fit into it. She writes beautifully about this struggle.... A sharply drawn portrait of life among that ever-popular literary demographic: the beautiful and damned."
Susan Cheever
"A complex, ambitious, and dramatic novel about the rich at the beach."
Maria Semple
"With sultry prose and a sure hand for suspense, Liza Klaussmann expertly weaves a vivid tale of glamour and despair, fidelity and betrayal, secrets and abandon. TTIGERS IN RED WEATHER will have you furiously postponing all human interaction until its gripping finale."
Laura Miller
"TIGERS IN RED WEATHER has the irresistible, opiate undertow of a fine Southern gothic novel; it's best read in long, languid, effortless pulls."
Antonina Jedrzejczak
"Tennessee Williams knew it; so did Harper Lee. There's something about a story anchored in the summer months that makes deception a little juicier, desire a little sultrier, and murder just a little more wicked. Brimming with all three, Liza Klaussmann's skillfully constructed debut novel of family intrigue and restless secrets...arrives this summer as a riveting addition to the genre.... Klaussmann's full-bodied prose considers the shortcomings of intimacy and the pitfalls of searching for an overarching family truth-all with the seductive pull of a Gothic melodrama."
Gabriel Byrne
"This novel is a page-turner in that you can't wait to see what happens next, yet you have to put it down from time to time to think about and savor what you've just read. It's written from the point of view of five characters, and at its center is a very unsettling mystery-it stays with you long after you've read it."
Dailycandy
"[A] steamy epic..."
Sam Sacks
"Ms. Klaussmann's strongest suit is the cut-glass quality of her prose, which presents the characters' perceptions in bold contours while still suggesting their emotional fragility."
Bette-Lee Fox
"A meditation on love, desire, and personal choices, this rich and compelling literary debut novel by a former New York Times journalist and the great-great-great-granddaughter of Herman Melville is sure to appeal to a variety of readers."
Paula McLain
"With palpable tension and spot-on sensual detail, Liza Klaussmann shows us a family in the exacting wake of the Second World War. Marvelously plotted and deliciously sophisticated, this is a book I'll be raving about for a good long while!"
The Oprah Magazine O
"Enthralling..."
Emily Temple
"A sultry, pitch-perfect literary thriller..."
Publishers Weekly
Set in bucolic, hoity-toity post-WWII Martha’s Vineyard, this unnerving literary thriller from the great-great-great-granddaughter of Herman Melville finds a family unmoored by an unsolved murder in their apparently porcelain community. At the debut novel’s center are two woman, Nick and Helena, cousins who grew up spending summers at their family’s cushy lakeside estate. Once carefree girls, now jaded women, they’ve since returned to Tiger House with their families, but their lives have lost much of the rosy glow they had before the murder. Selfish and aloof, Nick can’t stay faithful to her husband, the devoted but emotionally stunted Hughes. Helena, living apart from her sycophantic filmmaker husband, prefers pills and booze to dealing with her poor excuse for a relationship. Meanwhile, Nick and Hughes’s surprisingly well-adjusted daughter, Daisy, is engaged to a man with not so subtle designs on her nearly acquiescent mother, while Ed, Daisy’s childhood confidant and Helena’s creepy son, is hell-bent on ensuring Daisy is treated with respect, no matter what the cost. Told from the biased and often unreliable perspectives of each of these five players, Klaussmann’s carefully crafted soap opera skillfully commingles mystery with melodrama, keeping readers guessing about what really happened until the end. While her characters’ duplicitous behavior will elicit strong reactions, Ed’s psychological progression is the most fascinating to watch. The shocking finale, seen through Ed’s all-knowing eyes, scintillates as much as it satisfies. Agent: Caroline Wood, the Felicity Bryan Agency. (July 17)
- Maria Semple
"With sultry prose and a sure hand for suspense, Liza Klaussmann expertly weaves a vivid tale of glamour and despair, fidelity and betrayal, secrets and abandon. Tigers in Red Weather will have you furiously postponing all human interaction until its gripping finale."
From the Publisher
"With echoes of Nancy Drew murder mysteries and The Great Gatsby that extend well beyond the names Nick and Daisy-plus allusions to Wallace Stevens, to which it owes its abstruse title-Tigers in Red Weather is a deftly constructed, suspenseful family melodrama that exposes the dark innards of privilege."—USA Today"

[Klaussmann's]...sharp observations and lyrical prose make for a poignant read."—Sara Vilkomerson, Entertainment Weekly"

Shot through with glamour and the glint of family secrets, Tigers in Red Weather has you immediately in its clutches. Intensely evocative, it is by turns unbearably febrile and utterly chilling, and often both at once."—Megan Abbott, author of The End of Everything and Dare Me"

Exceedingly clever.... An elegant playbook on passive aggression, a study of the desires and resentments that burn away souls behind teeth-clenched smiles... Klaussmann is a master at unexpressed despair."—Ron Charles, The Washington Post"

Tigers in Red Weather has the irresistible, opiate undertow of a fine Southern gothic novel; it's best read in long, languid, effortless pulls."—Laura Miller, Salon"

A complex, ambitious, and dramatic novel about the rich at the beach."—Susan Cheever, Daily Beast"

With sultry prose and a sure hand for suspense, Liza Klaussmann expertly weaves a vivid tale of glamour and despair, fidelity and betrayal, secrets and abandon. Tigers in Red Weather will have you furiously postponing all human interaction until its gripping finale."—Maria Semple, author of Where'd You Go, Bernadette"

Tennessee Williams knew it; so did Harper Lee. There's something about a story anchored in the summer months that makes deception a little juicier, desire a little sultrier, and murder just a little more wicked. Brimming with all three, Liza Klaussmann's skillfully constructed debut novel of family intrigue and restless secrets...arrives this summer as a riveting addition to the genre.... Klaussmann's full-bodied prose considers the shortcomings of intimacy and the pitfalls of searching for an overarching family truth-all with the seductive pull of a Gothic melodrama."—Antonina Jedrzejczak, Vogue"

...Klaussmann's carefully crafted soap opera skillfully commingles mystery with melodrama, keeping readers guessing about what really happened until the end. While her characters' duplicitous behavior will elicit strong reactions, Ed's psychological progression is the most fascinating to watch. The shocking finale, seen through Ed's all-knowing eyes, scintillates as much as it satisfies."—Publishers Weekly Starred Review"

[Klaussmann's] cooked up a deft, nasty plot."—Helen Rogan, People Magazine"

...Zings with insight.... Klaussmann boldly uses five points of view to reveal the quiet desperation, hidden mental illness and politely bared fangs in a generation adrift in privileged mid-century America.... An intellectual and highly entertaining novel that recalls such classic writers as Fitzgerald."Rochelle O'Gorman, Cleveland Plain Dealer"

(A) smart, unsettling debut... Klaussmann's pitch-perfect portrait of the Derringer marriage gives the novel a strong emotional charge. Their complicated, painfully loving relationship and their mutual tenderness for fresh-faced Daisy ring true....stinging dialogue and sharp insights offer strong foundations on which this novice author can build."—Kirkus Reviews"

Gothic meets Martha's Vineyard in a thriller that captures a repressed generation and claustrophobic family relations.... Klaussmann has an eye for the small gesture that detonates an emotional bomb.... Throughout, [she] questions how to navigate a postwar world, and where women, specifically Nick and her aspirations, fit into it. She writes beautifully about this struggle.... A sharply drawn portrait of life among that ever-popular literary demographic: the beautiful and damned."—Alice Fishburn, The Financial Times"

Enthralling..."—O, The Oprah Magazine"

A sultry, pitch-perfect literary thriller..."—Emily Temple, Flavorpill"

A meditation on love, desire, and personal choices, this rich and compelling literary debut novel by a former New York Times journalist and the great-great-great-granddaughter of Herman Melville is sure to appeal to a variety of readers."—Bette-Lee Fox, Library Journal Starred Review"

With palpable tension and spot-on sensual detail, Liza Klaussmann shows us a family in the exacting wake of the Second World War. Marvelously plotted and deliciously sophisticated, this is a book I'll be raving about for a good long while!"—Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife"

Ms. Klaussmann's strongest suit is the cut-glass quality of her prose, which presents the characters' perceptions in bold contours while still suggesting their emotional fragility."—Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal"

[A] steamy epic..."—Dailycandy"

This novel is a page-turner in that you can't wait to see what happens next, yet you have to put it down from time to time to think about and savor what you've just read. It's written from the point of view of five characters, and at its center is a very unsettling mystery-it stays with you long after you've read it."—Gabriel Byrne, O: The Oprah Magazine

Library Journal
Along with a particularly evocative title and cover, this book has a red-hot plot. Having long summered together at Tiger House, the family estate on Martha's Vineyard, Nick and her cousin Helena go their separate ways: Nick with her husband, back from World War II, and newly married Helena to Hollywood. Alas, life never stays golden. Nick's husband has been snuffed out emotionally by the war, while Helena's is not what she had thought. The cousins meet at Tiger House to reassess, but a nasty murder throws their expectations further into turmoil. Lots of buzz for first novelist Klaussmann, a New York Times reporter, with a two-book deal, a huge advance, and rights sold to 18 territories and counting. Don't miss.
Kirkus Reviews
Postwar marriage and motherhood are more complicated than two cousins expected in Klaussmann's smart, unsettling debut. In September 1945, Nick and Helena are drinking gin in their backyard in Cambridge, Mass., looking forward to the end of rationing and the beginning of their adult lives. Helena is headed for Hollywood to marry Avery Lewis, Nick to Florida to be reunited with her Navy veteran husband, Hughes Derringer. Part I chronicles that less-than-successful reunion from Nick's point of view, then moves back to Cambridge as both women become pregnant in 1947. Tiger House, Nick's family home on Martha's Vineyard, sees a turbulent summer in 1959 when Nick's daughter Daisy (this section's viewpoint character) and Helena's son Ed discover the corpse of a Portuguese maid. We eventually find out who killed Elena Nunes, but the focus is on simmering tensions within and between the two families as the narrative moves into the 1960s and expands to include Helena's, Hughes' and Ed's perspectives. Restless Nick has casual flings that make both Hughes and her unhappy. Avery, obsessed with a dead movie star, gets Helena hooked on pills and pimps her out to a producer. Passive-aggressive Helena, instead of dumping Avery, blames all her problems on the admittedly bossy Nick and encourages creepily detached Ed to resent Nick too. Daisy gets engaged to a young man who seems far too interested in her glamorous mother. Developments in the Lewis family strain credulity, but Klaussmann's pitch-perfect portrait of the Derringer marriage gives the novel a strong emotional charge. Nick is frustrated by life as a decorative appendage; Hughes is uneasily aware that the part of himself he's always held in reserve has something to do with her infidelities. Their complicated, painfully loving relationship and their mutual tenderness for fresh-faced Daisy ring true, while the odysseys of Helena and Ed clang with melodrama. Uneven, but stinging dialogue and sharp insights offer strong foundations on which this novice author can build.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316211321
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
06/18/2013
Pages:
356
Sales rank:
319,292
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Liza Klaussmann worked as a journalist for the New York Times for over a decade. She received a BA in Creative Writing from Barnard College, where she was awarded the Howard M. Teichman Prize for Prose. She lived in Paris for ten years and she recently completed with distinction an MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, in London, where she lives. She is the great-great-great granddaughter of Herman Melville.

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Tigers in Red Weather: A Novel 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
bjboyle More than 1 year ago
I find reviews in which people re-write the entire synopsis very unhelpful....SO -- I thought this book was well written, captivating in that the book unfolds as it is told by different characters. It wasn't overly wordy - in a way that become tedious - the descriptions and character development were great - I found my self thinking about the plot even after I finished it. I was a little dissappointed with the ending - I felt that they book could have kept going a bit. All in all, it was a great summer read.
ABookAWeekES More than 1 year ago
Nick and her cousin, Helena, are two women searching for their place in the world. With the Second World War drawing two a close, both women find themselves ready to take on the rest of their lives. In author Liza Klaussmann's debut novel, "Tigers in Red Weather", readers are provided with the strong characterization of an intriguing family. Nick and her husband Hughes are finding it difficult to adjust to domestic life after the end of the war. They live in a small, Florida cottage where the repetition of their daily routines is taking a toll on them. Hughes follows the role that most men of the era do, consistently attending work to provide for his family. Nick, never much of a cook, finds it difficult to complete her daily tasks, and longs for something more. Meanwhile, her cousin Helena is starting her new life by marrying a Hollywood producer. After the unfortunate death of her first husband, who lost his life in the war, Helena finally seems to be on the path to her dream life. Unfortunately, the lights of her Hollywood marriage are not as bright as she thought. Her husband seems interested in only using her family's money to fund his ill-fated project. Fast-forward ten years, and both Nick and Helena are mothers to Daisy and Ed respectively. The two women, along with their children and Hughes, are spending the summer at the family's coastal property, The Tiger House. Despite their age, both women long for a more interesting life. When Daisy and Ed stumble upon the brutally murdered corpse of a maid, the facade of happiness that the entire family has built begins to come crashing down. In this debut, reminiscent of "The Great Gatsby" in both style and substance, Klaussmann provides readers with a tale full of genuine characters and suspense, making this novel the perfect intellectual summer read. The story is broken into five sections, each narrated by a different main character, providing intimate insights into each person's thoughts, emotions, and motivations. Chronology became a bit muddied at times, especially when characters reminisce through flashbacks, but Klaussmann does a commendable job keeping the times labeled. There is a murder in the story, but the focus becomes more about the characters, the murder merely a means to explore the family dynamics. Overall, this novel has a great mix of historical setting, interesting characters, and narrative momentum. I definitely recommend this book as a strong summer read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It started out a little slow but the more I read, the more I couldn't put it down. All books should be this good
VirtuousWomanKF More than 1 year ago
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 some confusion having to go back and forth in time. I did not like the characters and was disenchanted with their lack of morals and commitment to one another. There was just nothing that bound them together except for their gin and tonic. Oh boy!
elle17 More than 1 year ago
I read this book in less than one week. I could not put it down I really liked the way the author told the story though the perspective of each of the main characters. It was clever and captivating. I highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think this was one of the best books I read this summer... it is smart and funny and a real page turner. I just loved it.
katroll More than 1 year ago
About a quirky family, and who doesn't have that ? I really enjoyed this book. A bit sad, a bit like running with sissors,or I would compare it to the secret life of bees which I loved! I enjoyed it from beginning to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very enjoyable book that kept me turning the pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After done reading i felt myself thinking about the different types of people that make up a family. Which role do you play? Great summer read. Would recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
6 self absorbed people, 5 points of view, 4 alcoholics, 3 creepy pervs, 2 murderers, and a bunch of cheating adults in a sad pear tree. Kinda depressing, thought it was going to be a little more lighthearted.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was not the typical summer beach read that i was expecting it to be. It was defiantly an interesting book with well developed characters, but some of the twists and plot lines were expected.
SusieQsie More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, whose characters are well developed and interesting. I think we all know people like Nick and Hughes, Helena, Daisy, Tyler and the rest, except (thankfully) for Ed. The plot twists and the ending were not at all predictable, which I appreciated.
Bookworm1951 More than 1 year ago
At first I found the book very interesting. Then, the author told the same story from 5 different points of view - by each of her 5 characters. In addition, the story kept going back and forth through time. It became confusing and tedious. It was like being in a time warp and you kept reading the same thing over and over. By midpoint, I was ready to just delete it from my nook. This could have really been great if the author just simply told the story from beginning to end. It was odd to say the least.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When the most recent say the book is depressing confusing and "historical" that means the reader is antique themselves if they remember how it wasnt if you must borrow. Buska
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RobertDowns More than 1 year ago
I just need to stop reading historical fiction. Like right now. But I keep trying, like the little kid who keeps reaching for the electric burner, even though he’s bound to burn himself for the thirteenth time and once again lose several layers of skin in the process, or like the woman who just can’t stop dating that man-child with the six-pack abs and commitment issues and the Mickey Mouse voice, because damn it she can bounce quarters off his belly button, and that ought to be worth a few more rounds on the merry-go-round. Because like that little kid I want to reach out and just one time find the burner turned off, or like the woman I just want to meet a man who looks like Brad Pitt but has a bit of substance for once in her damned life. Well, not me personally, but I feel your pain sister. With historical fiction, I am beginning to think it’s a bit personal, and I am beginning to think I’m the only one who hasn’t been let in on this wonderful, exotic secret that will somehow change my life, but maybe not. And it’s frustrating and intoxicating and I keep coming back for more. Just spin me one more time, and this stint is bound to be different. And I end up…right back where I started. Let’s start with the dialogue shall we. Now I love me some good dialogue. I want to hug it and squeeze it and kiss it and pat its little forehead and somehow find a way to make it my own. More often than not (and this novel is no exception), I end up disappointed with the overused phrases tossed in my direction. It reminds me of the jellybeans often found beneath the sofa cushions. Just don’t eat them. Sure, they might have been great and wonderful three months ago (like the dialogue might have been snappy and witty about two or three generations ago), but I’m not feeling the love now. And I want to feel the love. The characters proved a bit too unlikeable. Heck, let’s face it, at least one or two were probably borderline bastards. And that works for me, if the others pick up the slack and shine brighter than a Colt revolver. But I’ll be honest: I didn’t really like any of the buttheads. Again, sometimes that works when it’s done correctly, but yeah, that wasn’t really working for me either. The characters were just a bit too full of themselves, or completely and totally self-involved (like six-pack abs guy). Let’s talk about setting. I love Massachusetts and Boston. I love the Cape and the North Shore with its quaint little towns and storybook houses. I love it even more when its spring or summer or fall, and when there isn’t a foot of snow on the ground with layers of ice packed underneath. But this didn’t really feel like Massachusetts to me. Something was just a bit off, and that’s probably a rather quick way of summing up TIGERS IN RED WEATHER. Robert Downs Author of Falling Immortality: Casey Holden, Private Investigator
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book started off so slowly that I had to force myself to continue. I also diidn't rezlly like how it went back and forth in time. I found the charcters strange and unlikeable.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you care at all about decent writing, then do not buy this book. I feel sick that I wasted ten bucks on it. The story is boring, the characters cardboard, and the prose riddled with every cliche in the English language. A coworker recommended it to me. I will read another book she suggests again.