Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively #manbooker

Though this story is told from the point of view of a sickening and
elderly woman, it’s not what I expected. Far from being morose and
sentimental, Moon Tiger packs a mighty punch. It’s a celebration of
uninhibited womanhood, of deviance, of razor-sharp wit and searing
intellect, of sexual prowess and of boundless confidence.Claudia Hampton is a dazzling character – admired and loathed in equal
measure by all, known by very few: Claudia, on her death-bed begins to write the history of the world, commanding her extensive knowledge
despite failing memory, and recalling, along the way, those things
that ‘made’ her. The recollections paint a vibrant picture, but cast
little judgement – Claudia is unbound by conventional morality: what
she does, she does because she must, because she is compelled, because she believes in her self-knowledge. Still, the dying woman is aware enough to allow minor concessions, acknowledging the puzzlement that she provokes in others.

Moon Tiger is masterfully told – the narrative is engaging, the
‘voice’ is audacious and strong, and the odd touch of literary
convention – used to great effect and with superb subtlety – combined
to leave me breathless. For all the strength and force of the
narrator, Lively manages, in the most economic way possible, to leave
that crucial space for the reader that turns a good book into a great


One thought on “Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively #manbooker

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