Title: Tigers, Not Daughters
Author: Samantha Mabry
Genre: YA Magical Realism
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date: March 24, 2020
Rating: 5 / 5 Stars
Source: Digital ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley
Tigers, Not Daughters is a wonderful, magical little book. It’s the story of the Torres sisters, Ana, Jessica, Iridian, & Rosa. Their mother died giving birth to Rosa, so they’ve been raised by their father, Rafe. But Rafe barely holds down a job, he goes to the bar and doesn’t always come home, and he is cruel with his words. The sisters have always relied on each other. One night they decide to run away. What they don’t know, is the boys across the street have watched them each jump from Ana’s bedroom window to the tree and have decided to follow them down the street. This of course gets them caught before they’re able to reach the bus station. Not long after this incident Ana falls while climbing out her window again and dies.
This throws everyone in the Torres family completely off kilter. Nothing is ever the same again and a year later, they’re all still grieving. But then strange things begin happening in the house. Writing appears on the wall and the girls hear strange laughter. They begin to think their sister is back, but why? What does she want?
This story was incredible. It had me in tears so many times I lost count. It’s a wonderful tale of sisterly love, self-love, finding your voice, and standing up for yourself. We get to see the story unfold from each of the sister’s perspectives and I loved getting to know each girl in her uniqueness. It’s just such a lovely story I cannot say enough good things about it.
Thank you so much to Algonquin Young Readers for having me on the blog tour!
“For her, Ana was hardly even gone. She was everywhere all the time. She was in the walls. She was in the wood of the walls, the wood of the cabinets, the cheap porcelain of the family’s mugs, the loops of the terry-cloth hand towels they used to dry their faces, the threads of the worn sheets they slept beneath at night, the pages of the books all stashed in Iridian’s closet. She was is the tiniest details of the ways in which they Torres sisters lived their lives, the choices they made, the directions in which they steered themselves, the shades of lipstick Jessica wore.”
-Samantha Mabry, Tigers, Not Daughters
Synopsis: 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.
Samantha Mabry credits her tendency toward magical thinking to her Grandmother Garcia, who would wash money in the kitchen sink to rinse off any bad spirits. She teaches writing and Latino literature at a community college in Dallas, where she lives with her husband, a historian, and a cat named Mouse. She is the author of A Fierce and Subtle Poison and All the Wind in the World. Visit her online at samanthamabry.com or on Twitter: @samanthamabry.
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