Fierce, elegant and compelling as the tiger itself, this is less a novel than the very force of nature caught in fiction. Grabbed me by the imagination and carried me into the wilds of animal and human nature.
Visceral . . . exotic . . . An impassioned celebration of second chances
Unsettling, immersive . . . A startling, gore-splattered, nerve-racking exploration of how human and animal territories - both physical and psychic - collide . . . Combining the propulsiveness of a thriller with the raw yet meditative tone of a memoir, Clark writes with a poet's ear and a naturalist's eye, and has a deep grasp of the profound contract between indigenous peoples and the beasts they revere. She never loses sight of the endangered creature that forms the beating heart of a passionate, remarkable and uplifting novel.
Electrifying - one to watch
Polly Clark's new novel, which is largely set in the vast Siberian taiga, or frozen forest, has some utterly convincing depictions of life there - the privations, the isolation, the magnificent Siberian tigers, the astounding cold. And the reason they convince is that, in late 2017, the poet and author, realising that only first-hand experience would suffice, went out there and saw it all for herself . . . Striking
The pages of in-cage interaction and silent tracking through the snowy taiga really should carry a reminder to breathe. At curtain call, though, the most thunderous ovation would go to the tigers, serene and relentless at nature's extremes, superbly rendered by the author, who to be sure of her material learnt how to track them in the depths of a Siberian winter . . . Don't be surprised if you also find yourself hooked.
Readers with a passion for wildlife conservation will lap up this lovely novel, which moves easily between a zoo in Devon and the frozen wastes of Siberia . . . Clark has based her novel on personal experience and is as adept at looking at the world through the eyes of a tiger as she is at capturing the animal's incomparable physical grace.
Lyrical and richly imagined, immersing the reader in the Siberian wilderness. Tackling themes of grief, motherhood and empowerment, it questions the price we pay for freedom and for love.
Clark's tigress is magnificent and terrifying . . . Clark's description of the snowbound wilderness is excellent . . . Clark shows us nature red in tooth and claw and human claws may be as sharp as a tiger's . . . Her evocation of the terrifying wastes of the taiga and the grim horrors of a Siberian winter represents a real and memorable achievement. The book will surely sell well; it deserves to do so.
What an achievement! So evocative of the Siberian taiga, so telling about life's imperfections, so beautifully structured to foster faith in new beginnings. Read and revive your optimism in our uncertain times!
A gorgeously written and unique novel that plunges the reader right into a vividly described natural world
A captivating walk on the wild side