Tigers in Red Weather: A Novel

Tigers in Red Weather: A Novel

by Liza Klaussmann


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Nick and her cousin, Helena, have grown up sharing sultry summer heat, sunbleached boat docks, and midnight gin parties on Martha's Vineyard in a glorious old family estate known as Tiger House. In the days following the end of the Second World War, the world seems to offer itself up, and the two women are on the cusp of their 'real lives': Helena is off to Hollywood and a new marriage, while Nick is heading for a reunion with her own young husband, Hughes, about to return from the war.

Soon the gilt begins to crack. Helena's husband is not the man he seemed to be, and Hughes has returned from the war distant, his inner light curtained over. On the brink of the 1960s, back at Tiger House, Nick and Helena—with their children, Daisy and Ed—try to recapture that sense of possibility. But when Daisy and Ed discover the victim of a brutal murder, the intrusion of violence causes everything to unravel. The members of the family spin out of their prescribed orbits, secrets come to light, and nothing about their lives will ever be the same.

Brilliantly told from five points of view, with a magical elegance and suspenseful dark longing, Tigers in Red Weather is an unforgettable debut novel from a writer of extraordinary insight and accomplishment.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780594584964
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 06/18/2013
Pages: 356
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.20(d)

About 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.


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. What do 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?

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Tigers in Red Weather: A Novel 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 46 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.
etxgardener on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is being promoted as F. Scott Fitzgerald meets Patricia Highsmith. I'd say it's light on Fitzgerald and heavy on Highsmith as author Liza Klaussmann weaves the story of a family over a period of 20 years, from the end of World War II through the 1960's, told through the various voices of its characters.There are Nick & Helena who are cousins, Nick being the seductress and Helena being the poor relation; Nick's daughter, Daisy; Helena's son, Ed; and Hughes, Nick's husband. The action takes place at the family summer home on Martha's Vineyard and centers around the grisly discovery of the body of a murdered maid of one of the other summer families.As the story plays out, the reader discovers the secrets of each member of this strange and disturbing family. This book will keep you apidly turning the pages wondering what is going to happen next.
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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