Today’s featured Maximum Shelf Awareness pick, perfect for fans of Isabel Allende and Min Jin Lee, is the new novel from New York Times bestselling author Yangsze Choo: THE NIGHT TIGER.
In this utterly transporting story set in 1930s colonial Malaysia, an apprentice dressmaker named Ji Lin moonlights as a dancehall girl to help pay off her mother’s Mahjong debts. Across town, 11-year-old houseboy Ren races to fulfill his former master’s dying wish: find the man’s severed 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 by, a series of unexplained deaths wreak havoc on the town, along with whispers of men who turn into tigers. Ji Lin and Ren are pulled together in ways they couldn’t have imagined, as their increasingly dangerous paths lead them from lush plantations, to hospital storage rooms, to a ghostly dreamscape.
“THE NIGHT TIGER is many things: a fine example of historical fiction, a work of magical realism, a ghost story, a mystery, a romance, a coming-of-age tale. Each of these is impressive, but most impressive is Choo’s ability to weave them all together in a way that feels authentic, and to use that intricate process to tell a story of colonialism and self-determination, love and death, family and tradition.” — Shelf Awareness