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The Marsh King's Daughter

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  30,253 ratings  ·  3,700 reviews
The mesmerizing tale of a woman who must risk everything to hunt down the dangerous man who shaped her past and threatens to steal her future: her father.

Helena Pelletier has a loving husband, two beautiful daughters, and a business that fills her days. But she also has a secret: she is the product of an abduction. Her mother was kidnapped as a teenager by her father and k
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published June 13th 2017 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
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Grace I did not like this part of the book, I find if I read that kind of stuff, it sticks in my head.. so for me, but I am a little sensitive to animals.. …moreI did not like this part of the book, I find if I read that kind of stuff, it sticks in my head.. so for me, but I am a little sensitive to animals.. maybe too much so.. but I just found it way too graphic for me.(less)
Mary Eve Similarities? Honestly, this story is not as contained as ROOM. Way more atmospheric and takes a deeper look between captor and cative, hunted and hun…moreSimilarities? Honestly, this story is not as contained as ROOM. Way more atmospheric and takes a deeper look between captor and cative, hunted and hunter. While I liked ROOM, I loved THE MARSH KING'S DAUGHTER! (less)

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Average rating 3.87  · 
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 ·  30,253 ratings  ·  3,700 reviews

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Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*4.5 Stars* Thank you to Shotsmag for my paperback copy, I have given an honest review in exchange*

Helena was born in captivity, her mother having been abducted at the age of 14. To Helena, life in the marshlands is normal. She has no contact with the outside world, no electricity, no running water, no modern conveniences. She has grown to love her life of hunting and fishing; indeed she loves her Father and everything he teaches her about nature. Helena has no idea what her Father has done.

May 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My reviews can also be seen at: https://deesradreadsandreviews.wordpr...

I came across this book a few months ago. I knew it wasn't going to be released until June but I couldn't wait to read it. Once I started reading I didn't want to stop.

The narrator tells us that her mother was famous for things no one would never want to be famous for. She says we may recognize her mother's name, but we probably haven't thought about her for years....but she is sure we would remember she had a daughter and w
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is atmospheric and brilliant storytelling from an author whose talent becomes increasingly obvious as you begin to read this tale. Its appeal lies in the twin interweaving of dark fantastical fairytale and the more human tale of the hunter and the prey, where these roles shift, change, merging into a hypnotic dance between father and daughter. Helena is married to Stephen, a photographer and has two daughters, Iris and Mari. She lives in Michigan's Upper Peninsula on the edge of the marsh w ...more
Mary Beth
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What I liked about the book?

I found this book to be unputdownable! It was dark and disturbing. I loved it. I was hooked from the very beginning and straight to the end. I didn't find this to be an edge of your seat thriller. It consisted of Helena's life in her past, being raised in captivity with her sociopath father and present, what her life was like afterwards. This book was very intriguing to me. I also found this to be very character driven. The author did Helena's character very well. My
Lately, I've been reading a little more suspense/thriller. 'The Marsh King's Daughter' is the most recent book in this genre to catch my attention. It certainly lived up to my expectations for a creepy, edge of my seat story.

The story centers on Helena, a woman with a secret past. While she lives her "normal" life as a mother, occupied with mundane daily issues, there is far more going on beneath the surface. She is always looking over her shoulder, never quite able to settle down or rest easy.

Lindsay - Traveling Sisters Book Reviews
5 stars! Wow - I’m still trying to catch my breath and slow my racing heart after finishing this fantastic book.

This book was SOOOOO GOOD! It was a fast paced, heart pounding, edge-of-my-seat, nail biting, suspenseful thriller. I was completely engrossed in the story from page one and addicted to finding out what would happen next - the intensity did not end until I hit the very last page. The story is so well-written and the characters are extremely well-developed – I was completely engaged an
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars.

Truly Captivating (for Helena, and Me).

“The Marsh King’s Daughter” hooks you from first few sentences: “I was born two years into my Mother’s captivity. She was three weeks shy of seventeen. If I had known then, what I do now, things would have been a lot different. I wouldn’t have adored my Father.” How could it not? It keeps you suspended on that hook throughout.

Helena is born under captivity .. yet she doesn’t know it. She grows up, learning to fish, trap, wield a knife and shoot, a
Jul 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
You know a story gets under your skin when you wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it.

This is a psychological thriller that has the added thrill of a spin on a classic fairy tale. The premise is disturbing. Helena is the daughter of a man whom abducted her mom, who was incarcerated for his crime but has now escaped- to the marshlands of Michigan- where she grew up and was held hostage for the first 12 years of her life. Now, the hunt is on and she needs either to be the hunter or b

4.5 Stars

Growing up, Helena never knew that they were different from other families; she didn’t know the story of how she came to be, didn’t know that her father had abducted her mother for the purpose of taking her as his wife. She loved her father, and didn’t think of him as a bad or dangerous man, although she knew that he was quick to anger toward her mother, at times. She really didn’t know any better, and how could she? She was his ”Bangii-Agawaateyaa”, his Little Shadow. The cabin they li
Larry H
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I'd rate this 4.5 stars.

Helena and her parents lived an isolated life in a cabin on marshland in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. They had no electricity, no creature comforts, but Helena learned so much from her father—how to hunt; how to shoot; how to kill, dress, and cook an animal; how to appreciate nature and the outdoors.

She never understood why her mother always seemed so afraid of her father, although she knew he hurt her from time to time, and while he punished Helena and sometimes taught h
Elyse Walters
Daddy was a sociopath.....who liked to tell stories...
....and his biological daughter, Helena, .....protagonist...(child version of Stockholm Syndrome), was almost like daddy's counterpart ....or as they often say: "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree".
Helena's mother? - Her character was written in the shadow - yet - sad! Just sad!

I coasted through this book pretty quickly- (one sitting) .
I wasn't a fan of a couple of the graphic scenes - but overall it's not a 'heavy-tension' book -- a
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow!  Well that was one heck of a good read!

THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER by KAREN DIONNE is an extremely gripping fast-paced suspenseful psychological thriller that had me totally engaged, entertained, and interested throughout this whole book. I was flipping those pages as fast as I could in anticipation and fascination finishing this book in less than 24-hrs.  I could not put this book down!

KAREN DIONNE delivers an intense, atmospheric, and an angst driven read here with well-developed characters
This book and I have a history.  I first saw it some time ago on NetGalley and requested it immediately.  Sadly I was denied but not deterred.  I kept looking, hoping for a publisher that would favour me.  So that didn’t happen and then one day I saw it on the start reading shelf and snagged it in a heartbeat.  

And then I sat down at last to read it and discovered to my horror that it was only a sampler..  Talk about !@#$%^& messing with me.

Yes there is history and it is not all sunshine and lol
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really think that 2017 is fast becoming the year of the Thrillers and the The Marsh King's Daughter is without doubt a smart well thought out and entertaining read and one that I can see becoming a big hit over the summer.
When I read the premise of this Novel it really caught my attention and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it........
'I was born two years into my mother's captivity. She was three weeks shy of seventeen. If I had known then what I do now, things would have been a lot differ
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I knew that going in, it would be an uphill struggle for me liking ultra violent stories like this one. Many of my friends gorge themselves silly on gory murder stories. They appreciate the subtlety of pure unadulterated crime. Subtlety because of the nuances from book to sequel.

I realized, 2/3 into the book, that Helena would be a wonderful heroine. On one hand she is hardcore, experienced and intuitive. But when the story most demands it, she plays into the hand of her father, 'The Marsh King'
Jan 24, 2022 rated it really liked it
Wow! So original. I loved this from the very first page. ❤️

Helena was born to a mother who was abducted as a teenager by a despicable man known as The Marsh King. They lived remotely off the grid in Michigan's Upper Peninsula for close to fifteen years. This is a story told by Helena mostly through flashbacks, now a grown woman married with two children.

I enjoy Helena's character and life on the marsh. Many details on native plants, gathering, and Native American philosophies. I could do wi
Jun 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne is a 2017 G.P. Putnam's Sons publication.

Hypnotizing, thrilling, tense, and absolutely riveting!!

I receive many emails from publishers and publicist promoting the latest book releases, but this book kept cropping up across different platforms, which piqued my interest. Then I noticed the rave reviews on Goodreads from trusted friends, and knew I had to see what all the excitement was about.

Although I was eager to start the book, and carefully read the
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fabulous premise for a book. A man kidnapping a woman and holding her hostage has been done before. But here, it's the daughter formed from that horrible union, telling the tale years later when her father escapes from prison.

Helena obviously had the oddest of childhoods. Raised in the outback of the UP, she still bear hunts, fishes and makes jellies with cat tails. Her husband has no clue to her background until the state police show up at their door. To say he's pissed is an understate
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An amazing, thrilling and oh so dark read!

Helena may look like your average young wife and mother, but she has a past that sets her miles apart from most everyone.

Helena grew up as the daughter of a high-profile kidnapper and his victim. She lived the first 14 years of her life hidden deep in a marsh along with her mother, who was kidnapped at a very young age. And of course Helen’s father, known infamously as the Marsh King. (What a cozy family, huh?)

Years later, learning there has been an esc
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was ok
This book was not a suspense thriller nor did it "chill me to the bone." Mostly it pissed me off. Sorry, but amid all the glowing 4 and 5 star reviews, there is my takeaway. I detested the main character, Helena, and I am sorry for the couple of hours I spent of my life reading this.

It had a great premise, the daughter of a man who abducted a young teenaged girl and kept them in the marsh for years, comes of age and FINALLY decides to DO SOMETHING about the life she is living though she worships
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Karen Dionne develops this powerful novel that will pull the reader into an adventure like few others, injecting emotion and pure cunning into each chapter. Helena has a secret that she has been keeping for many years. She is the offspring of a kidnap victim and her captor. Helena has spent the first dozen years of her life living off the land, knowing nothing else. The isolation was something Helena suspected every child experienced, as she learned how to hunt, trap, and subsist without a lick ...more
Diana | Book of Secrets
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow, wow, wow. I was riveted by this book, completely glued to the pages! THE MARSH KING’S DAUGHTER was more than just gripping psychological suspense; it was also a compelling blend of literary fiction and unique coming of age story.

This book tells the unusual life story of Helena Pelletier. She’s a wife, mother, and small business owner, but at one time her life was very strange, and growing up she didn’t realize it. The father whom she adored was actually a monster, a cruel psychopath who kid
LA Cantrell
Aug 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
What does it say that I've recommended this for two real world book clubs, have read it twice, and am now renting a little cabin out on stilts over the marshes of Lake Pontchartrain to host book club?

If you've ever loved an imperfect parent or grew up amidst dysfunction that seemed 'normal' - until you were old enough to know better, that is -I think you'll relate well to The Marsh King's Daughter. For those who enjoyed Jeannette Walls' memoir The Glass Castle, you too may fall for this book.

Dec 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
4.5 stars

The strongest part of this novel is the titular character. Her name is now Helena Pelletier, but she is also, even more so, the Marsh King’s Daughter. And while the plot is suspenseful and the revelations make it a type of psychological thriller, it is the character development, revealed through the perceptive, evocative, and striking language of the author, that packs the biggest punch. For me, it read as a coming of age story, a child’s growth to themselves, outside the boundaries of
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, what a story! This novel will have you at the edge of your seat. This is the fastest I've read a book in ages!
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a book! It took me just two days to read this. I haven't been this captivated by a book in a long time!

I'm not going to summarize the story. The blurb explains this book well enough.

I grew up with a father who hunted and fished, but I'm not either of those. Well, I am a hunter, I suppose, but I use binoculars and a spotting scope. I’m an outdoorsy, nature-loving person. I enjoy wildlife watching and have spent hours upon hours in forests and fields. I understand the relationship betwee
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

I’m usually not a fan of books where there is a “chase” type of situation, they can get to be predictable. This book, however, is definitely the exception to this.

The plot of this story can be told quickly. A young girl, age 14, is abducted from a small town and never found. We later find that she was held for many years and had a daughter who was aged 12 when she was fina
Brenda ~Traveling Sisters Book Reviews

This one came in from the library the day before I was leaving town and I was so excited to get it. I wasn't sure how I could read it in a day along with the other things I had to do. Well once I started reading I couldn't put it down and everything else just waited. It became a very quick read for me.

The Marsh King’s daughter is a heart pounding, compelling, interesting and unique character driven psychological thriller. When we first meet Helena she is happy and living with her family but
Susan's Reviews
Jun 12, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: engrossing
What a gruesome story!

Trigger warnings: Abduction; rape, extreme violence, narcissism, sociapathic and mental health issues (depression).

This was very engrossing and suspenseful, and, at first, the off-the-grid life that Helena still missed so much sounded pretty idyllic, but everything that was rotten in Denmark soon started to fester and ooze to the surface of this twisted tale.

Jacob raised his daughter in his own image, and those last chapters only reinforced my belief that the apple did no
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: best-of-2017
This is on sale today (8/22/18) for $1.99 on Amazon for Kindle!

Wowsers! I loved this gripping, well-written thriller. I saved it for plane trips from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Seattle and don't think I ever looked up on the flights (except when someone pointed out Mount Rainier) - I couldn't put it down!

Helena is a married mother of two young daughters living in Michigan's Upper Peninsula ("the U.P." to us Michiganders) with her family. She reveals immediately in the book that she is secretly t
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Karen Dionne is the USA Today and #1 internationally bestselling author of The Marsh King’s Daughter and The Wicked Sister, both published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in the US and in dozens of other languages. Praised by The New York Times Book Review as “subtle, brilliant, and mature,” The Marsh King’s Daughter is soon to be a major motion picture starring Ben Mendelsohn and Daisy Ridley.

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