TIGERS IN RED WEATHER
Nick and her cousin Helena grew up in a world of sun bleached boat docks, tennis whites, and midnight gin parties at Tiger House, the family home on Martha's Vineyard. In the wake of the Second World War, the two women are on the cusp of starting their “real lives”: Helena is off to Hollywood and a new marriage to the charismatic Avery Lewis,
Nick and her cousin Helena grew up in a world of sun bleached boat docks, tennis whites, and midnight gin parties at Tiger House, the family home on Martha's Vineyard. In the wake of the Second World War, the two women are on the cusp of starting their “real lives”: Helena is off to Hollywood and a new marriage to the charismatic Avery Lewis, while Nick is heading for a reunion with her own husband, Hughes Derringer, about to return from the war. The world seems rife with possibility.
The gilt soon begins to crack. Avery is not the man he seems to be, and Hughes has grown distant, his inner light curtained over. On the brink of the 1960s, Nick and Helena-with their children Daisy and Ed-try to recapture that earlier sense of possibility. But then Daisy and Ed discover something truly awful, and the dark thread of the family's history slowly starts to unravel. The secrets and lies that each member thought long buried begin to surface.
Brilliantly told with the tempestuous elegance of F. Scott Fitzgerald and the suspenseful dark longing of Patricia Highsmith, Tigers in Red Weather is an almost unbearably compelling story of liars, lust, and secrets. It heralds the arrival of a fierce literary talent.
“With echoes of Nancy Drew murder mysteries and The Great Gatsby that extend well beyond the names Nick and Daisy-plus allusions to Wallace Stevens, to which it owes its abstruse title-Tigers in Red Weather is a deftly constructed, suspenseful family melodrama that exposes the dark innards of privilege.”—USA Today
“[Klaussmann's]…sharp observations and lyrical prose make for a poignant read.”—Sara Vilkomerson, Entertainment Weekly
“Shot through with glamour and the glint of family secrets, Tigers in Red Weather has you immediately in its clutches. Intensely evocative, it is by turns unbearably febrile and utterly chilling, and often both at once.”—Megan Abbott, author of The End of Everything and Dare Me
“Exceedingly clever…. An elegant playbook on passive aggression, a study of the desires and resentments that burn away souls behind teeth-clenched smiles… Klaussmann is a master at unexpressed despair.”—Ron Charles, The Washington Post
Does Tiger in Red Weather have a main character? If so, who do you think it is?
What does the murder represent in the novel? Does it have equal impact on all of the characters?
Is Nick a heroine or villain? Do you believe her assertion that she didn’t have an affair with Tyler? Does she really love Daisy, or does she resent her?
What brings about Hughes’s newfound feelings for Nick later in the novel? Is there a specific catalyst?
Hughes finds Ed’s behavior disturbing throughout the novel, but it’s not just the boy’s actions he’s threatened by. How does Ed’s way of thinking, and the knowledge he’s accumulated, threaten Hughes’s relationships and his world?
Why is the first-person used only in Ed’s section?
Tiger in Red Weather is divided into five sections, each focused on a different character. Which sections did you enjoy most and least, and why? What do you think we’re meant to feel about each of the characters? How does the author show us that some-thing is off about Ed long before his first-person narration grants us a window into his psyche?
Why does Helena stay with Avery, despite her unhappiness?
Why is so much of Daisy’s character told from a child’s point of view? What does that say about her role in the novel?
On page 134, after witnessing Tyler and Peaches kiss, Daisy wishes she could be like Scarlett O’Hara, independent and free, and forget about Tyler, but she’s also scared. When you were a child, who were your role models, literary or otherwise? What did they represent for you? Now that you’re older, whom do you look up to?
If you ranked the characters from most to least moral, where do they stand?
What does the title of the book mean? How is the poem related to the story?
On page 298, Ed tries to explain to Hughes his hunch that people are “going about it all the wrong way.” What do you think Ed means? Which people, and what would Ed approve of as the “right” way? Why does Ed’s comment so unsettle Hughes?
On page 351, Nick says to Hughes, “It’s the strangest thing, but I have this feeling . . . Like everything . . .” And Hughes replies, “Yes. Everything is.” Complete Nick’s sentence for her. What do you imagine she’s trying to say? Given the circumstances, is there any other way to interpret it? Why do you think the author chose to leave this vague, and how did it affect your experience as a reader?
What did you make of the ending of Tiger in Red Weather? Do you think Ed is rehabilitated?
Read “The Pathological & the Privileged” by Reading Group Choices' Neely Kennedy for discussible topics and themes!