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I have to confess there is normally little more that will make me roll my eyes than a blurb that says something like "The suspense thriller of the year". I mean, just how many can there be in a single year? Luckily I read on and decided to overlook Hachette Audio's heinous crime because in publishing The Marsh King's Daughter they have done enough to earn a break. Karen Dionne's story centres around Helena who had the most incredible upbringing. Her mother was abducted as a young girl and forced to live in a remote cabin, deep in Michigan marshland. Her father, the kidnapper is a deeply twisted character who dominates her life.
Dionne's story is a clever triple line intertwined consisting of the original Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale which is the inspiration for the story, the current day Helena desperate to protect her family and stories from the younger girl's upbringing in that remote wilderness. The transitions between the two main timelines are smoothly done and both stories feel exciting. There is an interesting take on nature vs nurture as Helena battles to reconcile her love for her father, her growing understanding of her mother's life and her imperative to protect her own family. Can she overcome the loyalties and conditioning of that tough childhood enough to do what she has to?
Helena herself is an excellent female lead albeit forged from rather unique circumstances. The narration by Emily Rankin is very good at building the atmosphere and the storyline. She doesn't have the greatest range of voices but this isn't tested by the small cast of important characters in this one. I did hanker slightly after a less generic voice for Helena's father given his heritage but maybe there I am splitting hairs a little.
In all this is an excellent read as the stories progress and we get to know Helena. As with most thrillers of this type there may be a minor amount of chuffing involved as a cliffhanger is left dangling while we drift back to the past but the transitions are generally well done. I would definitely recommend this one.
11 of 14 people found this review helpful
I tend to stick to certain genres of book but, this time, wanted to try something totally different and boy did I manage to find one.
I can't say just how much I enjoyed this book because I would rave on for hours, suffice to say if your reading this review you must read the book - you will not regret it!!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I enjoyed this book but must admit to leaping over the fairytale Hans Christian Andersen story of the marsh kings daughter. I'm a grown up. at the beginning of each chapter was a mini chapter of nonsense. The main body of the story was fascinating and I wondered if children raised in an environment like that would share Helena's view of the world and love their Father inspite of his often unbelievable cruelty.
This book left me thinking about the characters when I wasn't listening. I was absorbed in the story. One of the best I've listened to. Well researched, beautifully written, engaging on every level.