I hope you are having a pleasant Saturday. I wanted to share a new book with you today. It is Plain Haven by Susan Lantz Simpson. It is the first book in Plainly Maryland series. I have only read a small portion so far, but I am enjoying it.
The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne is set in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Helene Pelletier had an unconventional childhood growing up in an isolated area where her only human contact was her mother and father. That all changed when she was twelve years old. Helene discovered that her mother had been kidnapped by Jacob, her father, when she was only fourteen years old. Thanks to a stranger who got lost, Helen and her mom were able to escape. Helene’s father, Jacob Holbrook was captured and has been serving time in the local maximum-security prison. Helene counts herself very lucky that she now has a wonderful husband and two little girls. But then Helene hears that Jacob has escaped while being transported. She is afraid for her little girls. Stephen, her husband, is unaware of Helene’s past, but is quickly brought up to speed when the police arrive on their doorstep. Helene knows that the police will never be able to find her father. He can easily disappear into the marshland and never be found. Jacob taught Helene all the necessary skills to survive and how to track. If anyone can locate Jacob, it will be Helene. She knows this is the only way to ensure her families safety. On the trail of her father, Helene reminisces about early years and what happened when she returned to civilization with her mother. Helene knows she is on her father’s trail when she finds objects he left for her. But is Helene hunting Jacob or is Jacob drawing her in?
The Marsh King’s Daughter has an interesting premise, but the final product did not live up to the summary on the book. I read The Marsh King’s Daughter, but I did not get into the story. It never captured my attention. I particularly disliked Helene. Her admiration for her father was disconcerting, and Helene’s dislike of her mother was upsetting (the poor woman had been kidnapped, raped, belittled, tortured). I could not understand Helene living on her paternal grandparent’s property (she inherited it). Personally, I would have sold the land to the highest bidder and moved to a different state (far, far away). Jacob raised Helene to be like him and think like him (she hunts, fishes, tracks). It makes me really question if this woman should be allowed around children (and glad that she is a fictional character). I give The Marsh King’s Daughter 2 out of 5 stars. I found the pace of the story to be glacial and key details are repeated throughout the whole novel (like how Helene is the only person who can find Jacob). There is no suspense and little action (yawn). The story is told more in a “matter of fact” fashion. The Marsh King’s Daughter plays out exactly as I thought it would (predictable). The “twist” was no surprise to me. I could see it coming based on Helene’s personality. For those people who love animals (like me), be warned that there is bear hunting in the story. My favorite character (I actually liked one) was Iris, Helene’s eldest daughter (a sensitive child). The youngest, Mari sounded like a holy terror. The one good quality of The Marsh King’s Daughter was its ability to help me drift off to sleep (I suffer from insomnia).
Thank you for checking out my latest book evaluation. I will be reviewing Patterned After Death by Elizabeth Lynn Casey next time. May each of you have a very special Saturday. I am relaxing, reading and indulging in chocolates. Until I return, take care and Happy Reading!
The Avid Reader