Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Reviews of What I've Been Reading….

Review: Moon Tiger

on March 6, 2009

I recently read Penelope Lively’s novel, Moon Tiger, which won the 1987 Booker Prize. It is beautifully written story of the life of Claudia Hampton, told from varying points of view. Claudia is a memorable character – strong and independent, self-reliant yet selfish. The book largely covers Claudia’s years as a reporter in Egypt during WWII and her ill-fated love affair with an officer stationed there.

While this book was well-written, I found the switching of voice and the lack of chronological order at times confusing.  An experience would be presented, then the same event retold, but told from another point of view. It was not a book you could read lightly!

Claudia is so vividly portrayed that she feels “real”, however, I found I didn’t like her. She was insensitive and self-centered. Her relationship with her daughter, especially when Lisa was young, was heart-breaking for the lack of feeling and lack of love that she displayed. Her relationship with her brother was disturbing. She is a character not soon forgotten.

Lively’s word choice and descriptions are picture perfect, but I can’t say I loved this story. I would give it 3 1/2 Stars. I got my copy from the library.

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