The Floating Girls

A Novel

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Pub Date 12 Jul 2022 | Archive Date 15 Jul 2022
SOURCEBOOKS, Sourcebooks Landmark

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For readers of Delia Owens's Where the Crawdads Sing and Louise Erdrich's The Round House, comes a fresh new voice in Southern fiction. A wonderfully atmospheric coming-of-age family drama told from the perspective of a feisty 12-year-old girl—reminiscent of a modern-day Scout Finch—as she unravels the secrets that threaten her entire family.

The backwaters of Georgia hold many buried secrets. But they won't stay buried forever.

One hot, sticky summer in Bledsoe, Georgia, twelve-year-old Kay Whitaker stumbles across a stilt house in a neighboring marsh and upon Andy Webber, a boy about her age. He and his father have recently moved back to Georgia from California, and rumors of the suspicious drowning death of Andy's mother years earlier have chased them there and back.

Kay is fascinated and enamored with Andy, and she doesn't listen when her father tells her to stay away from the Webbers. But when Kay's sister goes missing, the mystery of Mrs. Webber's death—and Kay's parents' potential role in it—comes to light. Kay and her brothers must navigate the layers of secrets that emerge in the course of the investigation as their family, and the world as they knew it, unravels around them.

At once wickedly funny and heartbreaking, it is an immersive coming-of-age story narrated by a feisty, smart, yet undeniably vulnerable girl reminiscent of a modern-day Scout Finch—a character who will live in readers' hearts for a long time to come.

Praise for The Floating Girls:

"A powerhouse of a Southern novel. At once a poignant coming-of-age tale, a murder mystery, and an evocative tribute to the marshlands of Georgia. Lo Patrick is a standout new Southern voice." —Andrea Bobotis, author of The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt

"Kay is the smartest, funniest, most curious young narrator I have come across in some time. Her voice stuck with me long after I finished reading. If I met Kay on the street, I'd beg her to be my best friend." —Tiffany Quay Tyson, award-winning author of The Past is Never

"A cracking story that unfolds in gorgeous prose in the stultifying heat of the American South." —Hayley Scrivenor, author of Dirt Creek

"Fans of Where the Crawdads Sing will love this immersive mystery set against the salty air of Georgia's marshes. In Patrick's atmospheric prose, the water and its characters come to life." —Lindsey Rogers Cook, author of Learning to Speak Southern

For readers of Delia Owens's Where the Crawdads Sing and Louise Erdrich's The Round House, comes a fresh new voice in Southern fiction. A wonderfully atmospheric coming-of-age family drama told from...

Available Editions

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ISBN 9781728248752
PRICE $16.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 75 members

Featured Reviews

Oh how beautifully mesmerizing this book was!
I loved the setting in Georgia. Lo did such a wonderful job with her writing and having a way of placing me inside this book with such vivid storytelling.
She painted an authentic picture that told a beautiful story.
A rich, well-written novel that completely held me captive throughout the entire read.
The mystery aspect of the story was very very intriguing and I needed to know more.
There are secrets that surround this family and when it comes to light the MC and her brothers world starts to unravel.
The voice of the coming of age Kay is truly amazing and I absolutely adored her part here.
I learned so much about the marsh in this novel I was amazed.
Overall, I loved everything about THE FLOATING GIRLS.
And this is her debut novel! She did amazing!
I couldn't put my Kindle away and was sad to see it end!

Sourcebooks Landmark,
Thank You for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!
I will post my review closer to pub date.

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Twelve-year-old Kay Whitaker lives with her family of five in the coastal Georgia marsh. Kay's home life is not ideal; her mother is wrestling with mental illness and her sister does not speak. Kay longs to find other kids in the marsh to play with, but her father forbids it and they often go to great extremes to stay hidden and isolated in the marsh.

The marsh is an atmospheric setting for the story. It represents the foggy, inaccessible view that Kay has of her life and the response she gets from everyone when she questions why things are like they are. The more evasive people are with Kay, the more Kay's frustration continues to grow. That frustration is the mounting tension of the story.

It was interesting to use Kay's age and innocence as a curtain that is slowly drawn back as the story unfolds. At times Kay is so innocent and naïve: she is newly fascinated with the expressive power of curse words, she aspires to 12 marriages, and she wonders if Andy will kiss her on the mouth before they elope in the sunset. But then she can be disproportionately wise: she spars with her father about normal families and how they are not even close to being one (I wondered how an isolated girl in the marsh would know how a normal family acted) and she clearly decides that getting her say in is worth the discomfort she will take for it. The way she refuses to be hushed in conversations with her older brothers and the neighbors is pretty admirable. But then, in contrast, her loyalty lies with strangers over her family several times in the book and I wondered how unmoored someone had to feel to bet on the randomness with a stranger to the disfunction of the familial at such a young age.

All in all, I really enjoyed the book and look forward to reading more from this author. I'm adding this book to my favorite southern lit; 5 stars.

I would like to thank NetGalley and Penguin Random House for the advance copy of Floating Girls in exchange for a non-biased review.

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The Floating Girls
A Novel
by Lo Patrick

Well, I LOVED this beautifully written book. Such a touching story. I would read it again . But, it will stay in your heart. I love coming-of-age stories and, you could feel the book, and see it as some real art.

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