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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darkly funny and complex!
An intriguing title and a lovely cover that would make me pick it up from a bookshelf. The story of a set of identical triplets who were born in 1916 which spans fifty years is well written. The triplets become small celebrities but live different lives when they are split up, two of them go on to live in luxury while one lives in squalor. It is a good portrayal of...
Published 6 months ago by The Kindle Book Review

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Predictable
Promising storyline ,quite engaging start.gets very disjointed in places ,I felt a lot more could have been done with the plot and.characters.The ending is somewhat frantic and far fetched,ok for a free read.
Published 9 months ago by Mrs. M. Singleton


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darkly funny and complex!, 7 April 2014
By 
The Kindle Book Review (Indianapolis, IN) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Tea Cups & Tiger Claws (Kindle Edition)
An intriguing title and a lovely cover that would make me pick it up from a bookshelf. The story of a set of identical triplets who were born in 1916 which spans fifty years is well written. The triplets become small celebrities but live different lives when they are split up, two of them go on to live in luxury while one lives in squalor. It is a good portrayal of rich and poor, divisions of social class and a complex story added. I found it a quite edge read and it was chilling in parts. The characters were well drawn and they developed and became more rounded in the three parts of the story. The pace also picked up as the story progressed and became a real page turner.

It is an easy read, darkly funny, edgy and complex. It is a great debut novel for a new voice, I recommend it for readers of family sagas, romance, historical novels and thrillers.

Barbara Goldie, from the Kindle Book Review
The Kindle Book Review received a free copy of this book for an independent, fair and honest review. We are not associated with the author or Amazon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The power of hatred and jealousy, 4 Feb 2014
By 
Dolphin (Stuck inside a cloud) - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Tea Cups & Tiger Claws (Paperback)
A pitiless look at how wealth and position drive the lives of a diverse community of people in the genteel small town of Prospect Park, California. It's impossible to outline the contents of the book without giving away too much of the plot and, since I hate spoilers, I will focus this review on the style and quality of the writing. The three parts of this complex, convoluted and multi-generational saga are so different in focus and tempo that, in different hands, might have ended up as a trilogy. Timothy Patrick weaves the separate strands with great skill and mastery, creating a tapestry of jealousy, hatred and revenge, shot through with sardonic observations of middle-class hypocrisy and, occasionally contrasted by the opposing forces of love and family devotion.

There is so much in this tale that it could have easily come apart but, somehow, the theme of revenge drives the plot relentlessly like a devastating tornado through a corn field. Some aspects are unrealistic and far-fetched but this is a work of fiction and the everyday authenticity of the common people's world is strong enough that the reader is willing to suspend belief and be taken along for the ride.

The first part “Sisters” spreads its poisonous foundations like an oil spill. The middle “Cousins” ticks along like a time-bomb, plotting and calculating, spinning a web of intrigue that is perhaps difficult to relate to real life. The third and last “Enemies” takes us on a mad, unstoppable ride of reckless power games and murderous folly where the book becomes a page turner and hard to put down.

Most of the main characters are frankly revolting human beings, and even the 'good' ones are not always easy to like. The narrator's voice remains neutral and non-judgemental but I sensed a fair amount of sympathy for human weakness in the face of adversity. Even though the story deals with three identical triplets, the author shows how upbringing and childhood values shape the character of the sisters so that, in maturity, they are as different as can be imagined. Their children (natural and adopted) are also heavily influenced and moulded by their respective mothers' personalities and parenting styles. Strangely, in this distorted slice of reality men have only limited influence and their impact is mostly dependent on their jobs and positions. There is a Henry James quality to the inevitability of an outcome that was almost impossible to foresee but, nonetheless, once the wheels of hatred are set in motion, can only lead to one conclusion. Dorthea's machine-like epic power is counterbalanced by the very human scale of characters such as Sarah and Mack, whose only strengths are their cool intelligence and determination to survive. Horse lovers will appreciate Tim Patrick's confident and knowledgeable treatment of equestrian matters and I very much enjoyed the horse-gentling subplot of Mack's youth, which reminded me of Monty Roberts.

Although the storyline is predominantly disturbing and there is some graphic violence, when something is done very well, it is enjoyable no matter what. This is certainly the case here and I loved the strong, assured quality of the writing, the fresh and original phrasing and the total command of both the gutter and lofty heights worlds that co-exist with such unease, separated and cushioned by the large and anonymous middle-class who despise both bookends with equal vigour. An intriguing and engaging read. I would like to see Tim Patrick tackle some lighter material with the same detached sardonic eye.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Captivating Saga, 4 Feb 2014
By 
Brett H "pentangle" (Brighton) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Tea Cups & Tiger Claws (Paperback)
This is a captivating saga of greed, jealousy and over-weening ambition, against a backdrop of the rich folk who live on the hill and their grindingly poor neighbours who live below.

It begins in 1916 with triplets born to a teenage mother in the shanty town at the foot of the hill. Triplets are hardly a common occurrence and they quickly become ten minute celebrities. The gifts and money come flying in - for a short while. The father is in his element - money means booze. He is angry when it dries up but there is light at the end of the tunnel for him: one of the babies' admirers remains true and she is a duchess from the top of the hill. She wants to adopt the triplets and offers cash incentives. Their young mother, Ermel is not too happy and finds a way to hang on to one of her babies, Dorethea.

Whilst her sisters are brought up in luxury and with love, Dorethea can only watch from her squalor at the foot of the hill. It soon becomes clear that Ermel did not hang onto Dorethea from love but more out of a desire to bester the Duchess and her greedy husband. She does not even offer her daughter a mother's love and Dorethea has nothing in the face of her two identical sisters who seem to have it all.

This is in part Dorethea's story and the effect no love and malice born of envy can twist a life. But it also a saga of families, of money corrupting and how easy it is to know the cost of everything and the value of little. It is a well written tale with its twists and turns and the characters are well developed with the individualism of the triplets shining through. These are all people you want to know more of as you become fascinated by their lives.

My one criticism is the character of Dorethea becomes perhaps a little larger than life as the story moves towards its awful crescendo.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Murder Mystery?, 23 Jan 2014
By 
D. Elliott (Ulverston, Cumbria) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Tea Cups & Tiger Claws (Paperback)
A possible genre for this book could be `murder mystery' and certainly there are plenty of murders, but in fact `Tea Cups & Tiger Claws' is much more - it is a family saga, it is a romance, and it is a historical societal commentary. The book is divided into 3 parts - first is `Sisters' covering identical triplet girls where Abbey and Judith are adopted by a rich `Duchess' and the third triplet Dorthea is brought up in squalor and poverty by her natural parents. In the second part, `Cousins', Dorthea shows her true colours and sets out to usurp her sisters where pious Abbey turns to religion and spoilt Judith enjoys living in luxury and as upper class. Both have baby girls, cousins Sarah and Veronica, who are brought up quite differently and have very different temperaments. Vindictive Dorthea adopts a young boy Ernest and embroils him in her scheming to supplant his cousins - and everything comes to a head in the final section, `Enemies', where new liaisons form with friends and foes co-existing for a frenzied roller-coaster finale.

The setting is a small town, Prospect Park, where the divisions of social class are real barriers between trash at the bottom of the hill, increasing respectability part ways up, and high society literally at the very top - though all is never what it may first appear and these generalisations cleverly mask undercurrents. Author Timothy Patrick skilfully employs homilies to explore concepts of honesty, sincerity, privilege, regret etc. and he introduces concepts of love and loyalty as well as jealousy, hate, misery, suffering etc. plus insights to domination, control, revenge etc. `Tea Cups and Tiger Claws' is a complex novel, and as such some events are perhaps not fully explained, and there is a degree of implausibility in Dorthea's wielding of power - but it all makes a great story. Narrative is easy to read and comes across as spoken by a raconteur, with much humour in the dialogue and commentaries which at a serious level highlight differences between American white-trash and the old money class. Dorthea herself makes good financially but cannot overcome snobbery, inbred superiority and authority of those living on top of the hill. The final chapter queries what has changed within the family, and more importantly what remains the same in the wider community of Prospect Park.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea, 13 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Tea Cups & Tiger Claws (Kindle Edition)
It doesn't happen often but I gave up on this novel. It just wasn't for me. The story didn't appeal and neither did the writing style.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Dark & witty, 3 Jun 2014
By 
hollandh (Camarillo, CA, US) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Tea Cups & Tiger Claws (Kindle Edition)
A very young girl is separated from her triplet sisters when a rich woman buys the other two. The one left in the poor, soulless household into which she was born is eaten up by jealousy and revenge against her sisters, who live so much better than she, and everyone else who has money and/or status.

This is the story about the evil woman she becomes, who will stop at nothing to punish everyone she comes into contact with. Almost everyone backs down before her, except, finally, two who stay to thwart her. The result is a tense drama with wry observations by the author. (Example: "She wanted to wrap a blindfold around her brain, drop it off in the middle of nowhere, and let it wander around around for a year or two.)

An engaging and funny read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good commuter read, 12 May 2014
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This review is from: Tea Cups & Tiger Claws (Kindle Edition)
Easy read, unbelievable but a story you can get lost in. Too many spelling mistakes though! I think it was free so nothing to lose!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, 8 May 2014
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This review is from: Tea Cups & Tiger Claws (Kindle Edition)
Good plot line from beginning to end. Characters grow with the story...
Recommend to read, slow start which sets up later storylines.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A tale of triplets separated at birth, 2 Feb 2014
By 
A. Roberton "Alan Roberton" (Hinckley, Leicestershire) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Tea Cups & Tiger Claws (Paperback)
Tea Cups & Tiger Claws by Timothy Patrick is a well written book which covers the period from 1916 to the 1970's. It tells the story of triplets from birth and how the lives of the girls evolve from the beginning when two of them are adopted by the foremost family in the town and the other through parental greed is left to a life of early poverty with alcoholic parents.

It describes the different lives they lead, the connections they make and the ends that the down trodden triplet will go to not only to succeed but to come out on top and show all her critics that she is as good as her sisters.

The story covers two generations and shows that money is no guarantee of happiness and that murder cannot solve the problems of poverty. it gives an insight to the society of the period and the prejudices surrounding wealth and poverty.

The book is enjoyable and well written and I thoroughly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys social history or even a good murder mystery.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 29 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Tea Cups & Tiger Claws (Kindle Edition)
The ups and downs of family! Phew!! I'm glad I wasn't part of this family! A really good read. Surprises all the way!!
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Tea Cups & Tiger Claws
Tea Cups & Tiger Claws by Timothy Patrick
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