Thank you so much to Algonquin Books for Young Readers for sending me a review copy of this book!
Title: Tigers, Not Daughters
Author: Samantha Mabry
Publisher: Algonquin Books for Young Readers
Genres: YA Contemporary
I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
The Torres sisters dream of escape. Escape from their needy and despotic widowed father, and from their San Antonio neighborhood, full of old San Antonio families and all the traditions and expectations that go along with them. In the summer after her senior year of high school, Ana, the oldest sister, falls to her death from her bedroom window. A year later, her three younger sisters, Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa, are still consumed by grief and haunted by their sister’s memory. Their dream of leaving Southtown now seems out of reach. But then strange things start happening around the house: mysterious laughter, mysterious shadows, mysterious writing on the walls. The sisters begin to wonder if Ana really is haunting them, trying to send them a message—and what exactly she’s trying to say.
In a stunning follow-up to her National Book Award–longlisted novel All the Wind in the World, Samantha Mabry weaves an aching, magical novel that is one part family drama, one part ghost story, and one part love story.
Tigers, Not Daughters is a lyrical tale of sisters too haunted by grief and too burdened by the men in their lives… until they suspect that the sister they lost a year ago is closer than they thought.
Told mostly from the points of view of the three sisters Ana left behind, Tigers, Not Daughters does an incredible job of giving each sister a different voice, personality, and motivation for what goes on in their lives. Can I pick a favorite? I don’t think so. I love Iridian for her love of writing and stories, her stubbornness, and her tenderness beneath it all. I love Rosa for her compassion and feistiness. And I love Jessica for her anger and attitude and her desire to be heard. They are all so distinct.
The writing is beautiful and lyrical, each chapter feeling like a different poem told by a different sister. I loved the strong imagery and themes that work their way through the story. There’s some domestic abuse and violence present in this story, but it ends on a hopeful note, nor did it go as far as I predicted at one point. The men in the story drag the girls down in so many ways, but the ending is triumphant as they stand up for themselves.
A beautiful tale of grief and sisterly love, with a touch of magical realism. I highly recommend for people looking for a quick, poetic read.