Moon Tiger, by Penelope Lively

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Moon Tiger, Booker Award Winner for 1987, is the story of Claudia Hampton, a free-spirited woman reporter in Egypt during WWII. As she lies in her hospital bed dying, she imagines herself writing a history of the world. In fact, she is re-creating her own life.

As Claudia weaves in and out of consciousness, the reader is drawn into Claudia's past. Her own story is intertwined with those of her brother, her daughter, her sometimes lover (and daughter's father), and her great love, Tom, who perished in combat. That love affair plays a central role in the novel, and in the narrator's life.

This is a unique book, resembling a rich tapestry. Each new visitor at Claudia's bedside weaves yet another part of the cloth. By the book's end, we come to love Claudia, despite her egotism and stridency. An author who is able to accomplish this, and to draw a character in her full humanity, is special, indeed.

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