TIGERS IN RED WEATHER by Liza Klaussmann is a wonderfully ambitious debut novel --- told in five voices with twists and turns --- that completely delivers as it rolls from page to page. The setting for most of the story is a vacation home called Tiger House on Martha’s Vineyard, which has been enjoyed by Nick (note: Nick is a woman) and Helena’s families since they were children. Following World War II, Nick married a man named Hughes, and Helena has married as well and moved to California.
Flash forward to the early ’60s, and they are on the Vineyard with their respective children, Daisy and Ed, trying to re-capture the innocence of their own youth. That idyllic thought is shattered when the young children stumble upon a woman who has been murdered, which upturns their lives. And suddenly a lot of secrets come to light, and the suspense ratchets up. It is so well done with both a mystery that will keep you guessing and well-drawn characters who have distinctive voices.
Things to note: I think the cover has an Asian feel to it --- something that I would expect from a Lisa See novel. To me, it does not evoke the Vineyard, but do not let that fool you. As you read you will smell the sea air, feel the surf and hear the banging of a screen door, all of which scream of summer.
Also, there is some literary pedigree at work here that I do not want our readers to miss. Liza Klaussmann is the great-great-great granddaughter of Herman Melville. The title of the book comes from a Wallace Stevens poem, "Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock,” and the allusions to Gatsby are all on purpose as the author is a huge F. Scott Fitzgerald fan. Daisy, of course, is named for Daisy Buchanan from THE GREAT GATSBY, and Nick is named for Nicole Diver from TENDER IS THE NIGHT. Lots to enjoy wrapped up in this one. A smart and satisfying read.