Fifteen year old Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.
Peter is unlike anyone she’s ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland’s inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything – her family, her future – to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she’s always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.
With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it’s the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who’s everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.
Why I chose it: When one of my friends found out that I absolutely love Fairy tale re-tellings, she recommended this book to me.
First I’d like to share my background on what I know about the story of Peter Pan. I have never seen the Disney version. Some people think this is shocking, but I’ve just never sat down to watch it. Growing up, I knew Peter Pan primarily from the 1960 Musical starring Mary Martin. Adding to this is the 1991 movie Hookstarring Robin Williams. I love both of these movies and I cherish them deeply.
When I first got my hands on Tiger Lily I really thought it would be a re-telling of the same story from Tiger Lily’s perspective. I could not have been more wrong!! First of all, the book is not from Tiger Lily’s perspective at all – it’s from Tinkerbell’s. The faerie on the island are unable to speak but can pick up on others’ moods and thoughts. Through hearing Tinkerbell’s narration, each of the character’s inner conflicts are laid bare, giving the reader a glimpse into their true characteristics. The way Anderson describes these characters is astounding, and it’s definitely the best aspect of the novel. These are characters that I thought I was familiar with, that I knew their stories and how they interacted with one another. But Tiger Lily showed me all of these characters in a completely different light. These people! They were more real, more complex, and they were definitely much darker. The characters are unbelievable and I was so attached to all of them.
So the book is not the same story at all – it takes place slightly before the arrival of Wendy Darling in Neverland. Yet the story completely fits the original tale, and when we do get a glimpse of Wendy in the last few chapters, you totally understand how it all may have looked from her perspective. The way Anderson has woven her story into the fibers of the original tale is absolutely fascinating and definitely had me rethinking the original story!
Finally, the setting by itself makes me want to read this story again. Tiger Lily is all over Neverland and you get to see the way she interacts with the setting. It’s incredibly organic, and the descriptions made the whole place leap off of the page, as if I was really on the island. It’s this amazing place on the edge of the world, with exotic plants and endangered species and it has somehow gone unnoticed by the rest of the world. I was enthralled by the depictions of the setting alone, and add to those the descriptions of animals and creatures, the book creates an extremely memorable setting for this amazing story.
In summary, this book was utterly fascinating and I couldn’t stop reading! It has been a very long time since I have read a book that I literally couldn’t put down, but this book was just that! I highly recommend it to everyone, and especially to Peter Pan fans!