Set in Yugoslavia after its disintegration, a young girl doctor explores her memories of her grandfather, also a doctor, and the circumstances of his death. The petty feuds and jealousies of the isolated village in which he grew up serve as a microcosm for the internecine wars that have torn families apart in the Balkan civil war. And with the hatred and fear comes superstition.
A tiger escapes from the zoo and finds its way to the village in which the grandfather is a young boy. Here he is looked after and fed by the butcher's deaf-mute wife; the butcher who is gay and a wannabe musician and who was tricked into marrying her, batters his wife. Then the butcher disappears and his wife is pregnant. The village believes that she has wed the devil, in the shape of the tiger, and seeks her death.
This story is mingled with the tale of the deathless man whom the grandfather doctor meets at key moments. The deathless man may or may not be a vampire; he claims to be death's nephew; it is certain that he carries a coffee cup in which he can see whether a man will imminently die or live.
An unusual mixture of reality and magic, lyrically and compellingly told. July 2012; 336 pages
- Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57