At times haunting and eerie, Tigers Not Daughters is a magical story about sisters, sacrifice, and grief. It is a book which explores grief and revenge. Keep reading this book review to find out about what writing technique I loved.
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.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Edelweiss. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: domestic violence
Tigers Not Daughters is a fabulously written story about sisters, escape, and guilt. Told in the perspectives of the sisters, Tigers Not Daughters is perfect for anyone who loves stories about sisters. The ways we know exactly what to say to hurt each other the most, but also the way that we protect our own. The Torres sisters dream of escape, but Ana’s death seems to seal their fate, until a year later when mysterious things start to happen. Tigers Not Daughters asks us what responsibility we have to our family, to our parents, and to what should we sacrifice for them?
We are able to see the differences between each sister, not only as individuals, but also as they process their grief and their relationship to their father. What secrets are they keeping from each other? Tigers Not Daughters looks at how we keep our loves ones alive, in our memories, and how we share our grief and loss. Grief can feel so isolating and lonely, but the Torres sisters care for themselves and no one has a monopoly on grief. A writing technique I loved in Tigers Not Daughters is that Mabry intersperses chapters of pivotal moments in the sister’s lives through external characters. We can see the moments people stood by and experience the small town feeling.
There’s something magical and eerie about Tigers Not Daughters. And we aren’t really sure what’s real and what’s not, whether belief turns into fact. Shadows in the night turn into ghosts. It’s a story about guilt and jealousy, grief and pain. When we are trapped within the confines of our heart with our ghosts. Find Tigers Not Daughters on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound & The Book Depository.