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The Marsh King's Daughter Review

The Marsh King's Daughter Review

Title: The Marsh King’s Daughter
Author: Karen Dionne
Pages: 320
Publication Date: June 13, 2017
Publisher: Penguin Random House

Helena Pelletier has a loving husband, two beautiful daughters, and a business that fills her days. But she also has a secret: she is the product of an abduction. Her mother was kidnapped as a teenager by her father and kept in a remote cabin in the marshlands of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Helena, born two years after the abduction, loved her home in nature, and despite her father’s sometimes brutal behavior, she loved him, too...until she learned precisely how savage he could be.

More than twenty years later, she has buried her past so soundly that even her husband doesn’t know the truth. But now her father has killed two guards, escaped from prison, and disappeared into the marsh. The police begin a manhunt, but Helena knows they don’t stand a chance. Knows that only one person has the skills to find the survivalist the world calls the Marsh King—because only one person was ever trained by him: his daughter.


The Marsh King’s Daughter had me so enthralled that when I started it, at 10 o’clock at night, I thought I would just read a couple of chapters before bed. Much to my dismay and excitement it was nearly 2 A.M. when I looked up and realized I was more than halfway through the book and had no plans of stopping. 

The story is so intriguing and captivating. The main character, Helena, is just an amazing character. Reading her story is like watching a horrendous accident- you just can’t help but stare at the horrors. She was such a different type of character than I usually read, which I loved. I enjoyed the way she was shown to be so powerful and flawed and confused and yet strong at the same time. 

I loved the way the story was written as well. It is told almost like a confession of her inner most thinking. It’s almost like Helena is having a conversation with the reader. She talks to you about her present life and her past life. She skips back and forth and you can’t help the fact that you are entranced by her story. You don’t want to know the details of her life and yet you can’t stop yourself from wanting to read farther. 

The story captivates the reader because it is not told like other stories. Stories like Helena’s happen. Kidnappings happen. And the public becomes obsessed with the details. Dionne captures that obsessiveness and Helena’s confusion and aversion to the new world she finds herself in perfectly. 

While reading this book I literally felt like I was transported in the Marshes as well. The detail and the imagery seize your imagination and do not let go. This is such a great and thrilling story. I basically put my life on hold until I finished it. 

I can’t wait to meet Karen Dionne! She will be at an event at Anderson’s Bookshop in April to launch the paperback release of The Marsh King’s Daughter! So excited!

-Happy Reading!


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