Review: The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo



Reese Witherspoon x Hello Sunshine Book Club Pick, Amazon Spotlight Pick for Best Book of the Month, NYTimes and Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller. Starred Kirkus, Booklist, and Publisher’s Weekly reviews.

A sweeping historical novel about a dancehall girl and an orphan boy whose fates entangle over an old Chinese superstition about men who turn into tigers.

When 11-year-old Ren’s master dies, he makes one last request of his Chinese houseboy: that Ren find his severed finger, lost years ago in an accident, and reunite it with his body. Ren has 49 days, or else his master’s soul will roam the earth, unable to rest in peace.

Ji Lin always wanted to be a doctor, but as a girl in 1930s Malaysia, apprentice dressmaker is a more suitable occupation. Secretly, though, Ji Lin also moonlights as a dancehall girl to help pay off her beloved mother’s Mahjong debts. One night, Ji Lin’s dance partner leaves her with a gruesome souvenir: a severed finger. Convinced the finger is bad luck, Ji Lin enlists the help of her erstwhile stepbrother to return it to its rightful owner.

As the 49 days tick down, and a prowling tiger wreaks havoc on the town, Ji Lin and Ren’s lives intertwine in ways they could never have imagined. Propulsive and lushly written, The Night Tiger explores colonialism and independence, ancient superstition and modern ambition, sibling rivalry and first love. Braided through with Chinese folklore and a tantalizing mystery, this novel is a page-turner of the highest order.


“Malaya, with its mix of Malays, Chinese, and Indians, is full of spirits: a looking-glass world governed by unsettling rules”

You can see how Yangsze Choo writes beautifully from the above quote! Definitely a 5/5 star read from me! As a fellow Malaysian, I totally can relate to the setting of the story, specific terms used and some of the Chinese superstitious believe. To the world out there, we Malaysians do have talented writers like Yangsze Choo!

This story was told in a few POV. All the strange events started from the search of a missing finger. I wouldn’t reveal much here as Im afraid I will spoil the story and all I can say is, this is really a page turner! At the second half of the book, I literally can’t put the book down as I’m so eager to know who is the murderer! Yangsze Choo managed to combine folklore and the element of mystery so well and this is what makes the story stood out! The social status of a women during the 1930s in Malaysia and the abusive nature of men amongst the Chinese society were also impliedly highlighted in the story. Definitely can appreciate this! Also, the plot twists in this story just made it so enthralling!

This book definitely deserves more hype and its worth picking it up!

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