Tigers in Red Weather
By Liza Klaussmann
(Little, Brown and Company, Hardcover, 9780316211338, 368pp.)
Publication Date: July 2012
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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.
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.
"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."
"[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."
"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
-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..."
"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