Friday, February 10, 2012
It would be pretty difficult for me to pass up a book with a title like Swamplandia! You just know there are good things between the pages. So naturally when I saw Swamplandia! by Karen Russell recommended by staff members at Powell's, I put it on my Christmas list.
Ava Bigtree grew up in Swamplandia!, an alligator themed amusement park in Florida. When Ava's mother, the "Swamp Centaur", dies of cancer it seems like the family won't be able to go on without the star of the show. As Swamplandia! begins to decline, so does the livelihood of the family. Ava's brother runs away, her father leaves for the mainland, her sister starts to communicate with ghosts, and Ava is left to try to save the park on her own. Turns out, that's not going to be very easy.
The blurb on the back cover states that Russell "takes us to the shimmering edge of reality." So true.
Recommendation: Sometimes sweet, sometimes sad, Swamplandia! is worth your time. I enjoyed it much more than Russell's other work St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves.