BY PENELOPE LIVELY
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Short-listed for the Golden Man Booker 2018 prize.
Moon tiger is the coil which burns at night to kill mosquitos, turning into ash. But this story won’t be easily extinguished. Penelope Lively gives us a truly wonderful and powerful novel and as a short-listed contender for the Golden Man Booker Prize this year, one worth reading now. Especially if you want to take up the rare opportunity to cast your vote.
Claudia, a formidable, independent and successful historian is dying in hospital. As she drifts in and out of consciousness she reflects on her own life and lovers, particularly her time spent as a reporter in Egypt during WW2.
We were all blown away and enraptured by Claudia’s story. Her almost ruthless approach to the people she loved caused much discussion. Amongst the throw away comments about her daughter and her daughter’s father, is the genuine love for two people, her brother Gordon and Tom, a British tank commander. Even as people visit her in hospital, she continues to undermine and outwit them.
Moon Tiger originally won the 1987 Man Booker Prize and Claudia is still so relevant to our time. Penelope Lively shows how even the most successful, clever and dominant women can experience pain and loss and wonder what was it all for – will they be remembered? Can Claudia save her memories by writing her own history?
It is poignant, witty, truly sad and a remarkable read and although we all agreed Claudia was not necessarily a likeable individual, we still felt sympathy and affection for her.
Like Moon Tiger, those treasured moments are all too brief and turn to ash.
- for people who love books -