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 eldest, falls to her death from her bedroom window. A year later, Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa, are still consumed by grief and haunted by Ana’s memory when strange things start happening around the house: mysterious laughter, mysterious shadows, mysterious writing on the walls. Is Ana really haunting her sisters and trying to send them a message? And what exactly is she trying to say?
Part family drama, part ghost story, and part love story, TIGERS, NOT DAUGHTERS is a stunning follow-up to All the Wind in the World, firmly establishing Mabry as a novelist not-to-be-missed.
This is not at all what I was expecting going into this story. The oldest sister dies mid escape in the first few pages and the three other sisters are left to pick up the pieces and deal with the grief. Like anyone else they deal with it in different ways; church, boyfriends, writing. Not all of these are great choices. A year later they feel as thought their dead sister is haunting them. While this isn’t proven it it left up to your imagination.
I really liked this story and the way that the sisters came together and learned to grieve together. It really shows the bonds of family and that together you can feel loved. My only problem would be the multiple POV. It was jarring to have three POV throughout the story but I understand that it gives each sister a chance to tell their own story.
Overall if you enjoy a magical realism book that has a strong family element then this is for you.
Advance Praise for TIGERS, NOT DAUGHTERS
“Move over, Louisa May Alcott! Samantha Mabry has written her very own magical Little Women for our times. This is no family of tamed girls but a clan of fierce and fighting young women who will draw readers into their spell. A celebration of the bonds of sisterhood and of the ways we heal by reaching beyond our losses, our brokenness and fears to the love that holds and heals.” –Julia Alvarez, author of How the García Girls Lost Their Accents
“A moody and unflinching examination of the gritty, tender and impossible parts of people that make them unforgettably whole. You don’t read Samantha Mabry’s books so much as experience them. Ferocious and gorgeously crafted. I loved it.” –Courtney Summers, New York Times bestselling author of Sadie
“A ghostly tale of revenge and the strength of the sisterly bond…The author adeptly portrays the claustrophobia of living in a small town and being under the watch of an overbearing patriarchal figure—in fact, the male gaze is the true enemy in this novel, and it’s only when the young women join forces that they’re able to break free of its oppressive ties. Mabry’s (All the Wind in the World, 2017, etc.) third novel has echoes of The Virgin Suicides. The protagonists are Latinx. The evocative language and deft characterization will haunt—and empower—readers.” –Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
“Borrowing elements of magical realism and Latinx folklore, this is a story that is often uncomfortable; in its quest to explore grief, family, and the traumas inflicted by each, it lays its characters utterly and unforgettably bare.” –Booklist (Starred Review)
“Mabry speaks gracefully to the transformative power of grief and the often messy (even violent) road to letting go.” –Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
“Little Women meets The Virgin Suicides with a magical realist twist in this evocative and lovely novel… Similar to the March sisters, the Bennets in Pride and Prejudice, and the three sisters in King Lear… Mabry’s lyrical style weaves themes of sisterhood, death, and romance along with Shakespearean inspiration and paranormal elements to create something magical. This novel is sure to appeal to fans of Mabry’s other works, and could serve as an introduction to magical realism for those unfamiliar with the genre. An engaging, heartfelt exploration of the multifaceted inner lives of teen girls and sisterhood.” –School Library Journal (Starred Review)
“This is a quietly searing tale of sisterly love and family secrets, of a grief so big it swallows its mourners up, blotting out the future and distorting the past…Mabry’s prose continues to be elegantly simple and profoundly evocative…an appealingly unsettling infusion of ambiguous faith and unexplained miracles.” –Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (Starred Review)
“One of the most crucial voices in young adult literature.” –Bustle
About the Author
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..