For the sheer pleasure of losing yourself in a striking time and place (colonial Malaysia in the 1930s); and in a love story between sharply drawn characters; and in a murder mystery involving ghost tigers, the Confucian virtues, an illicit trade in human fingers, and a train station that ferries the dead, nothing beats Choo’s evocative The Night Tiger. It threw me into that best of readerly conundrums: Racing through to see how it ends, and dreading the turn of that last fantastic page. Recommended By Rhianna W., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
An utterly transporting novel set in 1930s colonial Malaysia, perfect for fans of Isabel Allende and Min Jin Lee
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.
“A sumptuous garden maze of a novel that immerses readers in a complex, vanished world.” Kirkus (Starred Review)
"A work of incredible beauty....Astoundingly captivating and striking....A transcendent story of courage and connection." Booklist (Starred Review)
“Mythical creatures, conversations with the dead, lucky numbers, Confucian virtues, and forbidden love provide the backdrop to Choo’s superb murder mystery. Mining the rich setting of colonial Malaysia, Choo wonderfully combines a Holmes-esque plot with Chinese lore.” Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
About the Author
Yangsze Choo is a fourth-generation Malaysian of Chinese descent. Due to a childhood spent in various countries, she can eavesdrop (badly) in several languages. After graduating from Harvard University, she worked as a management consultant and at a startup before writing her first novel. Yangsze lives in California with her husband, two children, and a potential rabbit. She loves to eat and read, and often does both at the same time.