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 kept in a remote cabin in the marshlands of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Helena, born two years after the abduction, loved her home in nature, and despite her father’s sometimes brutal behavior, she loved him, too…until she learned precisely how savage he could be.
More than twenty years later, she has buried her past so soundly that even her husband doesn’t know the truth. But now her father has killed two guards, escaped from prison, and disappeared into the marsh. The police begin a manhunt, but Helena knows they don’t stand a chance. Knows that only one person has the skills to find the survivalist the world calls the Marsh King—because only one person was ever trained by him: his daughter.
⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 / 5
I have to say that this book just really didn’t do it for me. The writing itself is superb, plus I was able to read it quickly, which is why I’m giving The Marsh King’s Daughter 3.5 stars (3 on Goodreads) instead of lower… However, the story as a whole just didn’t really work for me. It started and ended as a real heart-pounding nail-biting experience, but everything in the middle was a tad too slow for my liking. I’m a big fan of fast-paced thrillers but this isn’t one of them.
The blurb of this book is also very deceiving because it makes you think this book is all about Helena tracking her father after he escapes from prison. In reality it’s really more of the sad, depressing (at least to me) story of how Helena grows up. All the talk of how they lived off the land and all the hunting, trapping, etc., got really boring for me and I came very close to skimming quite a few spots as the book went on.
I also couldn’t really love Helena as a character. She couldn’t see how bad her father was, even as she was riding off with her mother away from him (after he has broken her mother’s arm and shot her, among other things). She was truly a product of her father until the very end, and it made me sad.
I did love how the Hans Christian Andersen story The Marsh King’s Daughter is interspersed throughout the book. And again, there was nothing wrong with the writing itself, that was great, I just don’t think the pace and bulk of the story was a good fit for me.
Final Thought: I’m definitely in the minority — again — so I still recommend reading this one for yourself as many people love it. I just couldn’t get into all the living off the land stuff that takes up the majority of this book, and the slow (in my opinion) plot line. That being said, I would still be interested in reading more from Karen Dionne!
*This title was published on 13 June 2017*