The Marsh Kings Daughter by Karen Dionne #BookReview

About this book…

‘I was born two years into my mother’s captivity. She was three weeks shy of seventeen. If I had known then what I do now, things would have been a lot different. I would have been a lot more understanding of my mother. I wouldn’t have adored my father.’

When the notorious child abductor known as the Marsh King escapes from a maximum security prison, Helena immediately suspects that she and her two young daughters are in danger.

No one, not even her husband, knows the truth about Helena’s past: they don’t know that she was born into captivity, that she had no contact with the outside world before the age of twelve – or that her father raised her to be a killer.

And they don’t know that the Marsh King can survive and hunt in the wilderness better than anyone… except, perhaps his own daughter.

My review…

This is going to be one of the big books for Summer 2017 and I can absolutely understand why! The Marsh Kings Daughter is a sumptuously dark and atmospheric thriller with a heroine you won’t ever forget.

I don’t think I’ve read such an intricately detailed and unique plot like this for a very long time. It wasn’t at all what I was expecting and I enjoyed it all the more for that. There are many real life documented cases where babies have been born to women in captivity, but here there is no sensationalized return to real life for Helena, who has spent the first 12 years of her life living in an isolated cabin with her mother and her father. There she was a daddy’s girl who learnt to hunt and fish, idoling her father as she explored the wilderness of the marshes. Until the day she discovers the truth about her birth. Years later, Helena is almost unrecognisable as that young girl and is married with two small daughters. She still uses her hunting skills whilst her foraging expertise has lead to her own business selling  jams and jellies to local outlets. But when her father escapes from prison she knows she is going to have to use those skills to outwit The Marsh King.

Once I started to read that first page, I was hooked. I loved how the retelling of the fable of The Marsh Kings Daughter ran throughout the book parallel to Helena’s narrative as she slowly reveals the secrets of her childhood. In fact, everything about this original and gripping literary thriller kept me deeply enthralled due to its authentic and convincing storylines. Be warned that it was rather tough reading at times though, especially when observing Helenas differing attitudes towards her parents and there is also a lot of detail in the hunting scenes that could be a little overpowering for some but was a huge part of what made Helena who she is today.

The Marsh Kings Daughter is a must read summer 2017 book. It’s an intelligently written, intriguing book that everyone will be talking about so buy your copy now!

Many thanks to the publisher for my review copy via netgalley of The Marsh King’s Daughter which is published on 13th June 2017.

Meet the author…

Karen Dionne drew heavily on her experiences during the 1970s in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to write The Marsh King’s Daughter, when she and her husband lived in a tent with their six-week-old daughter while they built a tiny cabin. Karen carried water from a stream, made wild apple jelly over a campfire (and defended it against marauding raccoons), sampled wild foods such as cattail heads and milkweed pods, and washed nappies in a bucket (which Karen says is every bit as nasty as it sounds). She enjoys nature photography and lives with her husband in Detroit’s northern suburbs.

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

11 thoughts on “The Marsh Kings Daughter by Karen Dionne #BookReview”

  1. Love your review and loved this novel as well! I can hardly wait to share mine this weekend. The life she led was described so thoroughly and detailed, I was really hooked. I agree this is one of the books that will be talked about a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic review! I have the request for it on NG pending so my fingers are doubly crossed, but even if I won’t succeed I shall defo buy this book. I love the sound of this and your review got me proper excited for it!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love your review. I’m defintely compelled to add it to my tbr now.


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