“The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo was the perfect book to kick off my 2020 reading! This novel has a little something for everyone... mystery, suspense, forbidden love and underdog characters to root for. The writing is as lush and vivid as the cover art (gorgeous right?). Narrated by multiple voices, you will love the 2 main characters: Ren, a young orphaned house boy who is loyal almost to a fault and Ji Lin, an ambitious, intelligent seamstress who desperately wants the same opportunities a man (specifically her step-brother) would have. I’d describe the novel as historical fiction (1930s colonial Malaysia) interwoven with mythology and ancient superstitions (unlucky numbers, unmatched sets, and weretigers). Throw in dancehalls, severed fingers, murder and food descriptions that make your mouth water and you have a book you won’t want to put down!
Leah, Aesop's Fable
"Choo narrates this richly complex novel herself, her gorgeous writing delivered in a voice that is deep and precise and lovely, both British and not quite. Her tone and words transport us..." — San Francisco Chronicle
This program is read by the author.
A sweeping historical audiobook about a dancehall girl and an orphan boy whose fates entangle over an old Chinese superstition about men who turn into tigers.
Quick-witted, ambitious Ji Lin is stuck as an apprentice dressmaker, moonlighting as a dancehall girl to help pay off her mother’s Mahjong debts. But when one of her dance partners accidentally leaves behind a gruesome souvenir, Ji Lin may finally get the adventure she has been longing for.
Eleven-year-old houseboy Ren is also on a mission, racing to fulfill his former master’s dying wish: that Ren find the man’s finger, lost years ago in an accident, and bury it with his body. Ren has 49 days to do so, or his master’s soul will wander the earth forever.
As the days tick relentlessly by, a series of unexplained deaths wracks the district, along with whispers of men who turn into tigers. Ji Lin and Ren’s increasingly dangerous paths crisscross through lush plantations, hospital storage rooms, and ghostly dreamscapes.
Yangsze Choo's The Night Tiger pulls us into a world of servants and masters, age-old superstition and modern idealism, sibling rivalry and forbidden love. But anchoring this dazzling, propulsive audiobook is the intimate coming of age of a child and a young woman, each searching for their place in a society that would rather they stay invisible.
Praise for The Night Tiger:
"A work of incredible beauty...Astoundingly captivating and striking in its portrayal of love, betrayal, and death, The Night Tiger is a transcendent story of courage and connection." — Booklist, starred review
“Choo has written a sumptuous garden maze of a novel that immerses readers in a complex, vanished world.” — Kirkus, starred review