Set in 1930’s Malaysia, this remarkable novel has a number of recurring motifs: twins, medicine, dreams, the eerie space between life and death, tigers, the five Confucian virtues, and – oh, dear! – severed fingers. But don’t shy away; embrace this absorbing adventure in a time and place that will be new to most readers. Ji Lin, who works in a dance hall to pay off her mother’s gambling debts; her stepbrother, Shin, a medical student; and Ren, an 11-year-old orphan who lives by his considerable wits, will take you by the hand and walk you through this extraordinary world.
- Banna— From Banna's New Recs
“A sumptuous garden maze of a novel that immerses readers in a complex, vanished world.” —Kirkus (starred review)
From New York Times bestselling author Yangsze Choo, 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)
About the Author
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.
Praise for The Night Tiger
“A sumptuous garden maze of a novel that immerses readers in a complex, vanished world…Choo weaves her research in with a feather-light touch, and readers will be so caught up in the natural and supernatural intrigue that the serious themes here about colonialism and power dynamics, about gender and class, are absorbed with equal delicacy.” —Kirkus (starred review)
"A work of incredible beauty...Astoundingly captivating and striking in its portrayal of love, betrayal, and death, The Night Tiger is a transcendent story of courage and connection." —Booklist (starred review)
“Mythical creatures, conversations with the dead, lucky numbers, Confucian virtues, and forbidden love provide the backdrop to Choo’s superb murder mystery. Mining the rich setting of colonial Malaysia, Choo wonderfully combines a Holmes-esque plot with Chinese lore.” —Publishers Weekly (starred and boxed review)
“Complex, ambitious...a little bit magical.” —Shelf Awareness
Praise for The Ghost Bride
"Sumptuous...Unexpected...So full of longing, the pages practically sigh as you turn each one." --Oprah.com (Book of the Week)
"From whodunit to ghost story to coming-of-age to romance, there is enough plot to fill several more novels. But the beguiling tale...makes you hope Choo is the author who writes all of them.” --USA Today
"A captivating love triangle with echoes of traditional Asian myths." --Good Housekeeping (August Book Pick)
"Impressive...Takes readers on one of the wildest rides since Alice fell down the rabbit hole." --San Jose Mercury News