Mary-Beth's Reviews > Swamplandia!

Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
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's review
Apr 23, 2012

really liked it

Overall, I really liked this book. I heard about it several times in April (on NPR re: Pulitzer shortlist, from co-worker re: amazingly descriptive writing, from fellow Goodreads friend who put it on to-read list), so I decided to Kindle it for our trip to France. I have to agree that the writing is amazing. The book is told primarily from the point of view of Ava, a 13 year-old girl who lives on her family's alligator farm/amusement park in the Florida swamp, with lesser contributions from her older brother Kiwi and older sister Ossie. A lot of the book turns on the fact that 13 is a difficult age, and Ava is perched between childhood and adulthood, not knowing what to believe and who to trust and whether there is really magic in the world. My only criticism was that the end was a little too wrapped up in a bow for my taste (since the character drawings beforehand are messy and realistic and relatable).
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message 1: by Brian (new) - added it

Brian whyfor?

Mary-Beth Oh, I heard someone talking about it on the radio (in relation to the Pulitzer Prize for fiction debacle--this was one of the final three), and it sounded interesting. Southern gothic, I think (but am not really sure). I forgot about it for a week or so until my friend Kate posted it in her to-read list, and then I added to mine. If you're interested, maybe it can be a joint France book for the two of us?

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