The Night Tiger

The Night Tiger

Book - 2019
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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 racks 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 novel 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.
Publisher: New York : Flatiron Books, 2019.
Edition: First Edition.
ISBN: 9781250175465
Characteristics: 372 pages ; 25 cm.


From Library Staff

In 1930s Malaysia, two servants work together to solve mysterious deaths linked by superstition and folklore.

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EKGO Jun 19, 2020

A severed finger, mauled bodies, and a hospital bring together a group of very different people: Ji Lin, a young woman who wants to be a nurse but gets by as a seamstress during the day and a dance hall girl at night; her stepbrother, Shin, who is on his way to becoming a doctor; William Action, a practicing doctor in the hospital where Shin is doing his residency; and Ren who had recently worked for a rural English doctor and is now Acton's houseboy.
British-ruled Malaya in the 1930's is the rich setting for this slow-paced mystery peppered with romance, Chinese folklore, and magical realism.

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Mar 19, 2020

I loved the unique Malaysian setting and the "is this magical realism or is there simple human reasons for these events?" feel of the story. I also always enjoy books with historical setting and female leads who aren't particularly interested in the path society has in mind for them!

Dec 13, 2019

A nice blend of romance, mystery, and fantasy. Some things (explanations) were not believable--more like 6th sense or esp. Maybe I'm just too cynical.

Jul 30, 2019

Who'd have known a book about a missing finger could be so entrancing? Add mystery, foreign setting, folk religion, and the interesting dysfunctional family setting and you have a concoction that kept me intrigued.

Jul 15, 2019

Wonderfully crafted story on the theme "be careful of what you wish". Reminded me of The Monkey's Paw short story by W W Jacobs that I read years ago in school.

JessicaGma Jul 05, 2019

A very atmospheric mystery set in Malaysia where you're not quite sure who is going to help or hinder the protagonists. The folklore gets explained well, along with the magic elements. This is a great read, especially if you want to travel in your armchair.

Jul 05, 2019

This was a really pleasant mystery/ghost story/romance. I didn't find the characters were very deep or remarkable, but I enjoyed the story.

Jul 03, 2019

This book was a surprisingly engaging novel featuring natural and supernatural elements well blended into poignant themes addressing gender and tradition. I enjoyed and appreciated the author’s ability to deliver captivating material to an audience not familiar with the culture and folklore surrounding the subject matter. I leapt into this book with little background and an open mind and definitely was pleasantly surprised.

Mar 27, 2019

The Night Tiger was magical! I loved how the author pulled together multiple narratives and the sense of atmosphere that was apparent throughout. Since I'm a huge historical fiction fan, I also really enjoyed the historical detail of Malaysia.

SCL_Tricia Mar 15, 2019

I enjoyed this book. It was a little slow at the beginning and I never did find that it was a "page-turner" but the setting was well done and the magical realism was intriguing. This one won't keep you up at night wanting to read another chapter but it is a good story.

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Aug 23, 2019

We were a chocolate-box family, I thought. Brightly wrapped on the outside and oozing sticky darkness within.


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