Title: Tigers, Not Daughters
Author: Samantha Mabry
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Magical Realism
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: March 24, 2020
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.
A year ago, Ana Torres fell out of her bedroom window to her death. Her younger three sisters, Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa, are dealing with their grief in different ways. Jessica acts out and has a dangerous relationship with her boyfriend. Iridian finds comfort in books and writing. Rosa tries to help animals. Strange things begin to happen in their house, and the girls decide that it must be Ana’s spirit communicating with them. They have to figure out what Ana is trying to tell them.
This was an intense story. The sisters were grieving for their sister, but their dad had other ways of dealing with the pain. He checked out of their lives, so they had to look after themselves. They had to grow up quickly, but they each had their own ways of coping.
I really liked the magical realism aspects of this story. Ana’s ghost appeared to her sisters and to the neighbors next door. She didn’t always appear as a person, but she would do things around the house to let them know she was there. There were also some storms that happened around her appearances, which added to the spooky atmosphere.
This was such a beautiful story!
Thank you Algonquin Young Readers for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
What to read next:
All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry
The Marrow Thieves by Cheri Dimaline
Have you read Tigers, Not Daughters? What did you think of it?