Tigers, Not Daughters

Tigers, Not Daughters
Age Range
Release Date
March 24, 2020
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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.

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hauntingly lyrical story about sisterhood and grief
Overall rating
Writing Style
TIGERS, NOT DAUGHTERS is a lyrical book of sisterhood and grief. The Torres sisters had tried to escape their father but failed due to the boys who watch them from across the street. Only two months later, Ana, the eldest, falls out of her window they had tried to escape out of to her death. A year later, the sisters are surviving in their grief as best as they can.

Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa are all very different people, who are bound together as sisters. As things start happening that make it seem as though Ana's ghost is hanging around, the sisters each try to decipher the meanings in their own ways, while also navigating life with their abusive father and the other boys in their lives, some of whom are also abusive.

The most important thing in the book is the sisterhood they have, and the book builds beautifully to the ways in which they save themselves and each other from the horrible forces around them.

What I loved: The whole book is lyrically enchanting and haunting, pulling the reader into the world of the Torres sisters completely. Descriptions come to life off the pages, and the sisters are each different and unique in a way that makes them easy to imagine. While there is a paranormal element in Ana's ghost, it is a relatively minor theme that propels the sisters toward their introspective conclusions.

There is domestic abuse both with their father who is emotionally abusive and neglectful, lost in his own grief and need to lash out and with one of the girl's boyfriends who is violent towards her in several scenes. While the book sets up Hector and his friends as a force, I appreciate how it is the sisters who must collide and forge forward together, and it is their relationships which define the book.

Final verdict: Perfect for fans of THE RAVEN CYCLE and A ROOM AWAY FROM THE WOLVES, Mabry delivers a hauntingly lyrical book about sisterhood and grief that will have readers thinking about the Torres sisters long after the last page is turned.
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