The Night Tiger
The Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“A sumptuous garden maze of a novel that immerses readers in a complex, vanished world.” —Kirkus (starred review)
An utterly transporting novel set in 1930s colonial Malaysia, perfect for fans of Isabel Allende and Min Jin Lee
Quick-witted, ambitious Ji Lin is stuck as an apprentice dressmaker, moonlighting as a dancehall girl to help pay off her mother’s Mahjong debts. But when one of her dance partners accidentally leaves behind a gruesome souvenir, Ji Lin may finally get the adventure she has been longing for.
Eleven-year-old houseboy Ren is also on a mission, racing to fulfill his former master’s dying wish: that Ren find the man’s finger, lost years ago in an accident, and bury it with his body. Ren has 49 days to do so, or his master’s soul will wander the earth forever.
As the days tick relentlessly by, a series of unexplained deaths racks the district, along with whispers of men who turn into tigers. Ji Lin and Ren’s increasingly dangerous paths crisscross through lush plantations, hospital storage rooms, and ghostly dreamscapes.
Yangsze Choo's The Night Tiger pulls us into a world of servants and masters, age-old superstition and modern idealism, sibling rivalry and forbidden love. But anchoring this dazzling, propulsive novel is the intimate coming-of-age of a child and a young woman, each searching for their place in a society that would rather they stay invisible.
"A work of incredible beauty... Astoundingly captivating and striking... A transcendent story of courage and connection." —Booklist (starred review)
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Malaysian novelist Yangsze Choo’s second novel is as magical and mysterious as 2013’s The Ghost Bride. Ren, a Chinese houseboy on a mission to retrieve a precious item lost long ago by his dying master, becomes entangled with its current owner, apprentice dressmaker Ji Lin. Choo wraps her compelling characters in a dark and beautiful mystery with rich layers of Chinese folklore and magic realism. Fantastical beings like weretigers meet the teachings of Confucius amidst the lush period details of 1930s Malaysia, making The Night Tiger an utterly transportive reading experience.
Choo (The Ghost Bride) centers her riveting latest on five individuals connected to a series of deaths in Malaysia's Kinta Valley. In 1930s Malaya, 11-year-old house servant Ren accepts the dying request of his master, Dr. MacFarlane, to find his dismembered finger (it was amputated after an accident) and bury it in his grave. The task must be completed within 49 days or else, according to lore, the doctor's spirit is doomed to wander Earth forever. Thus Ren begins to work for William Acton, the British surgeon who amputated MacFarlane's finger years before. As Ren desperately searches Acton's home and the nearby hospital for the finger, the body of a young woman is discovered, her scattered remains presumably the work of a man-eating tiger. Meanwhile, Ji Lin, a dressmaker's apprentice who secretly works at a dance hall, happens upon a preserved finger in the possession of an unsavory customer. Ji enlists the help of her step-brother, Shin, to discover the origin of the finger, but uncanny tragedies and mishaps follow in their wake. Mythical creatures, conversations with the dead, lucky numbers, Confucian virtues, and forbidden love provide the backdrop for Choo's superb murder mystery. Mining the rich setting of colonial Malaysia, Choo wonderfully combines a Holmes-esque plot with Chinese lore.
The book takes you into a mystical world.
i adore this book very much.
I read A LOT. I read 20 books over 11 weeks during quarantine and this is the only one I started and was unable to finish. I got 40% read and just had to give up... I honestly tried but it put me to sleep EVERY time. The story just never picked up. It really could be an interesting book... I liked the concept but just never excited me. I couldn’t care about the characters... which is usually what makes me love a book.