Thursday, February 1, 2018

Review: The Marsh King's Daughter

In The Marsh King's Daughter, Dionne deftly and deeply explores the bonds and breaking of families, through the unique lens of a narrator who is the daughter of a kidnapping victim and her kidnapper.

Helena has formed a family of her own, with a new last name and a past she has hidden away. She is the daughter of a woman kidnapped and held captive for years, and the kidnapper. But when her father escapes from prison, Helena must confront her past and all her father taught her, because she is the only one who can track him down.

Dionne does a really good job of alternating between past and present to build suspense. Readers learn of Helena's upbringing and all her father taught her about hunting and tracking, and then see her put those skills to use in a high-stakes chase of the self-same father.

What is particularly compelling about this book is how much Dionne makes you think as she spins a highly suspenseful tale. Helena's father was not only a kidnapper and captor, but a brutal one, but he was also the only father Helena ever knew. Helena's mother seemed so passive and meek during Helena's childhood, but she was also a woman forced to live as wife to the man who had stolen her from her life. Helena must figure out what she feels about the people who created her, and what this means for her future with the family she has chosen.

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