I really enjoyed this book but I have to confess: I do not get what all of the hype has been about (including having it on many lists of the best books of 2019). I had several issues with the writing that couldn't get me over the hump to give this 5 stars. The story centers around a young girl who has been completely abandoned by her family and lives on the marsh alone in North Carolina, learning to survive by becoming one with nature and animals and relying on the kindness of a few select people. Owens does have a beautiful way with language and because of her own naturalist background has a great deal of knowledge about plants and animals and can describe them in a unique and interesting way. However, there were tons of aspects of the novel that felt hugely unrealistic to me. Without getting too spoiler-y, most of the main plot points had major holes in them (especially the resolution of a trial involving the main character). Also, I felt like the pacing was way off - the beginning and some of the middle felt tedious and then the ending was incredibly rushed. While Owens did a good job fleshing out her characters, it also felt jumbled the way she switched back and forth between perspectives (often totally unnecessarily). I have to give this four stars since I appreciate the overall story and themes of prejudice and loneliness, but I'm still stumped by this one's fandom.
Buy this Book on