Cover image for The night tiger / Yangsze Choo.
Title:
The night tiger / Yangsze Choo.
ISBN:
9781250175458

9781250229175
Edition:
First Edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Flatiron Books, 2019.
Physical Description:
372 pages ; 25 cm
Abstract:
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.

1930s colonial Malaysia. Ji Lin is stuck as an apprentice dressmaker, moonlighting as a dancehall girl to help pay off her mother's Mahjong debts. Then one of her dance partners accidentally leaves behind a gruesome souvenir. Houseboy Ren is racing to fulfill his former master's dying wish: 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 a series of unexplained deaths racks the district, along with whispers of men who turn into tigers. Ji Lin and Ren's paths crisscross through lush plantations, hospital storage rooms, and ghostly dreamscapes. -- adapted from jacket
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Summary

Summary

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

"A sumptuous garden maze of a novel that immerses readers in a complex, vanished world." -- Kirkus (starred review)

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 work of incredible beauty... Astoundingly captivating and striking... A transcendent story of courage and connection." -- Booklist (starred review)


Author Notes

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. The Ghost Bride , set in colonial Malaya and the elaborate Chinese world of the afterlife, is about a peculiar historic custom called a spirit marriage. 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.


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Choo (The Ghost Bride) centers her riveting latest on five individuals connected to a series of deaths in Malaysia's Kinta Valley. In 1930s Malaya, 11-year-old house servant Ren accepts the dying request of his master, Dr. MacFarlane, to find his dismembered finger (it was amputated after an accident) and bury it in his grave. The task must be completed within 49 days or else, according to lore, the doctor's spirit is doomed to wander Earth forever. Thus Ren begins to work for William Acton, the British surgeon who amputated MacFarlane's finger years before. As Ren desperately searches Acton's home and the nearby hospital for the finger, the body of a young woman is discovered, her scattered remains presumably the work of a man-eating tiger. Meanwhile, Ji Lin, a dressmaker's apprentice who secretly works at a dance hall, happens upon a preserved finger in the possession of an unsavory customer. Ji enlists the help of her step-brother, Shin, to discover the origin of the finger, but uncanny tragedies and mishaps follow in their wake. Mythical creatures, conversations with the dead, lucky numbers, Confucian virtues, and forbidden love provide the backdrop for Choo's superb murder mystery. Mining the rich setting of colonial Malaysia, Choo wonderfully combines a Holmes-esque plot with Chinese lore. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

In the lush rural lands of 1930s British colonial Malaysia, Dr. MacFarlane's dying wish weighs heavily on 11-year-old Ren, who is tasked with finding and burying the doctor's amputated finger so his body may be whole again before the 49 days of the wandering soul are over. MacFarlane was convinced his soul would roam the jungles as a mythological tiger if Ren did not complete his mission. Meanwhile, Ji Lin is working a second job in a dance hall to help her mother pay back a gambling debt. In a tussle with an overly forward customer, she finds a specimen bottle with a preserved finger. Uneasy, Ji Lin enlists the help of her stepbrother to return the finger to the original owner, but the specter of death seems to follow them. VERDICT Choo (The Ghost Bride) presents complex characters and multilayered stories in a vivid setting that coalesce into a richly evocative and mesmerizing tale in which myths and folklore intertwine in daily life. For fans of Kate Mosse or Isabel Allende. [See Prepub Alert, 8/27/18.]-Joy Gunn, Paseo Verde Lib., Henderson, NV © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.