Tuesday, 10 January 2017
Book Review: Tiger In A Cage by Allie Cresswell
This was a really cleverly plotted book, that is much denser than it first appears.Present Day and historical social gatherings become the framework upon which the story hangs.
The main character is Molly, through whose point of view, we filter all the comings and goings of the suburban close, where she against all odds tries to create an idyll for herself, her husband and her daughter.
This is an ingenious combination of soap opera and melodrama combined, with a dash of mystery for good measure.The Neighbourhood Shenanigans gradually begin to taint her idea of a perfect neighbourhood enclave, as secrets and lies are gradually revealed to the reader.
What makes the story much more nuanced is that Molly herself is a moral contradiction and the gradual revelation of the Caged Tiger of the title, which is her own dark deed(in heart if not in deed) illustrates the fact that even those with the most pure hearted and innocent intentions can be led in darker, more languid directions by the emotions and passions that such close social proximity can breed.
The characters whilst being deeply flawed and selfish at times are interesting and at no time become stereotypes (which would have been quite easy in a book based on a suburban street). You like them, you pity them and I am ashamed to say you judge them, but you never once want to stop unfurling the onion that is their complicity in each other’s secrets, the moral sidestepping and acceptance to maintain the brittle veneer of friendship and neighbourliness.