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Tigers in Red Weather: A Novel Hardcover – July 17, 2012

3.5 out of 5 stars 228 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, July 2012: It’s the end of World War II, and cousins Nick and Helena part ways for the first time. Helena is moving to Hollywood and getting married; Nick goes to Florida with her veteran husband, Hughes. The women soon realize that their lives don’t match their dreams, but it takes more than twelve years and their children finding a murder victim to jar them out of their complacency. Liza Klaussmann layers the story with the distinct viewpoints of Nick, her daughter Daisy, Hughes, Helena, and Helena’s son Ed. From wartime London in the 1940s to the family beach estate, Tiger House, in the late 1960s, each character brings their own baggage to the story of a family unraveling. Secret fears, desires, and relationships come to light as facades are worn away. The unsolved murder soon becomes just one of many mysteries swirling around the Tiger House, building suspense all the way to the startling conclusion. --Malissa Kent


"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

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1st Edition 1st Printing edition (July 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316211338
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316211338
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (228 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #893,020 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I am way off what the other reviewers are saying about this book. It's one of the few books I've read this year that I thoroughly disliked - the writing, the story, the characters, everything. To be fair, I listened to it on Audible, so I suppose it could be the way it's performed, but I don't really think so. I didn't experience any lyrical writing. I didn't encounter anything dark and brooding. I for sure got no whiff of the likes of Fitzgerald, unless you count the fact that the female lead is awkwardly named Nick, and her daughter is named Daisy. And that right there ought to tell you a little something about how hackneyed this book can be.

I've read some really wonderful books this year - Beautiful Ruins, The O'Briens, and Arcadia are three I can think of right off the top of my head. Tigers in Red Weather can't even stand in the same room with them. Makes me wonder what I'm missing that everyone else seems to be loving about this book...?
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I picked this up after reading in Elle Magazine that it had been a readers' favorite. I guess I have different taste than most of other people who read Elle, because I was incredibly disappointed in this book. I found it to be poorly written, poorly developed, full of overwrought language and riddled with painfully cliched dialogue. I found the characters inconsistently portrayed - Nick is sometimes very concerned with what people think and overly concerned about doing what is proper; at other times she is intent on scandalizing her neighbors or seducing a musician at a party. Helena and Nick were supposed to have enjoyed a loving and close relationship - but no evidence of that is ever demonstrated. No character felt remotely believable to me, nor were any of their relationships convincing. And some of the dialogue, particularly that between the children, was stilted and very poorly written.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a really interesting book. I liked how the story was told through five different points of view, it gave a more complete view of what happened in all five lives. Each character was well developed and interesting, I did not find one to be boring. The character I found most interesting was Nick, she is not the most likable but she is the most complex by far. Her coldness, her strong personality, her unique beauty, and her inner fragility made for a fascinating person to read about.

The book does involve a murder but it is really the individual characters that move the story along. The murder was really just a side story for me, I was much more interested in what was going on in the five peoples lives.

I would recommend this book to someone who likes character driven books or to someone interested in reading about life in New England among the rich after WWII. It is a fascinating look at how the wealthy spent their summers drinking, boating, and having a good time. It is at times a heartbreaking look at marriage, family, and how it is possible to hate the ones we love. It is a well written, original book that I enjoyed.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Tigers In Red Weather
Lisa Klaussman

My " in a nutshell" summary...

The lives of two cousins and their families immediately after WWII. Everyone is just a tad bit dysfunctional.

My thoughts after reading this book...

Rationing, living without your husband, waiting for the war to end so life can be normal again...that is part of what this book is about. But it is also about the confused and damaged relationships that all of these people have. Nick and Helena, cousins, married to Hughes and Avery. Daisy, Nick's daughter and Ed, Helena's son...cousins who see each other every summer at their family's summer home. Nick...who appears to have everything while Helena feels cheated. Hughes harbors secrets. Ed has secrets. Nick has secrets.
Avery...again...weird secrets. Helena...blots out life with pills.
Lots of puzzling characters...

This book is not a relaxing beach read but is rather an intense, chilling, well written mystery. Sort of hovering around everything is the dead body found by Daisy and Avery the summer before they turned 13.

What I loved about this book...

I loved the images that stayed in my head about that era. Tomato aspic, fine china, grandmother's linens. Secret lemonade recipes and sundresses and dish towels hanging on a door. Parties in the summer with bands and white dinner jackets...champagne and gin and tonics and lots of under currents running through conversations because people never really said what they thought. I loved the secrets. Everyone had at least one...or two.

What I did not love...

Hmmm...tomato aspic? What is that? It sounds horrible. And...there were lots of unappealing characters...
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