Nick and her cousin, Helena, have grown up sharing sultry summers at Tiger House, the glorious old family estate on the island of Martha’s Vineyard. As World War II ends they are on the cusp of adulthood, the world seeming to offer itself up to them. Helena is leaving for Hollywood and a new marriage, while Nick is to be reunited with her young husband Hughes, due to return from London and the war. Everything is about to change. Neither quite finds the life she had imagined, and as the years pass, the trips to Tiger House take on a new complexity.
Then, on the brink of the 1960s, Nick’s daughter Daisy and Helena’s son Ed make a sinister discovery. It plunges the island’s bright heat into private shadow and sends a depth-charge to the heart of the family. Summer seemed to arrive at that moment, with its mysterious mixture of salt, cold flesh and fuel.
Magnificently told from five perspectives, Tigers in Red Weather is an unforgettable debut: a simmering novel of passion, betrayal and secret violence beneath a polished and fragile facade.
“This glamorous and involving debut novel is about the secrets of a wealthy - and very dysfunctional - American East Coast family. Over a series of summers, moving from the glittering promise of the post-war years to the end of '60s idealism, five members of the same family tell their stories. Under a seemingly perfect surface, secrets fester, relationships crack and loyalties are betrayed.” (
“Postwar America, beautiful and damaged people, secrets and lies and passions and martinis and the smell of something rotting beneath the fragrance of summer. . an immensely gripping and well-told tale of two generations . . . It is part of the considerable pleasure of this novel that much of it reminds you of other stories, in prose and film. You are on familiar but never stale territory, and you read on with the growing conviction that a nasty surprise lies around the corner.” ( Guardian)
“So pour yourself a whisky sour, put Count Basie on the gramaphone and surrender to a deliciously disturbing tale that shines a light on the seamy side of human nature.” ( Sunday Express)
“A scintillating look at a gilded but dysfunctional family grappling with lies, secrets and conspiracies . . . The voices of the five main characters ramp up the tension with languorously graceful prose, perfectly mirroring the book's long, dangerous summers.” ( Marie Claire)
“What an unexpectedly brilliant read this is. It starts off all Stepford Wives and Valley of the Dolls and ends up somewhere in the territory of Jeffrey Eugenides' The Virgin Suicides or Donna Tartt's The Secret History. This novel is a slow-burner which you can only really appreciate once you can take in the whole book. It is told in five parts from the standpoints of the main characters Nick, Daisy, Helena, Hughes and Ed. The whole thing has the cinematic feel of a kaleidoscope, conjuring up the idea that perspective is always changing. . . . This is an ambitious undertaking for a first novel but Klaussmann really pulls it off, turning an elegant period piece into a creepy psychological thriller. The characters are cruelly drawn and should be unsympathetic but there is something compelling about the setting and the cinematic feel of the book: you are drawn to these strange types without understanding why. There's just the right mix of glamour and tension. The result is like the dish of tomatoes in aspic which Nick slaves over for hours and then drops. Everything is perfectly suspended for a moment. Until the mess of life intervenes. A wonderfully clever, chilling summer read.” ( Independent on Sunday)
”This is heady, page-turning, intelligent stuff” (The Sunday Times)
”A deft novel, it conjures up the magic and the melancholy of post-war America. If Richard Yates had penned a beach-bag read, this might have been it.” (Independent)
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A great summer listen