Review: Swamplandia by Karen Russell

This book was on my TBR for a while, and it was one of the many that I picked up in the $1 section of The Strand when I lived in New York. Unfortunately, Swamplandia and I didn’t get along.

While I was intrigued by the Swamplandia theme park as a character, I felt like the whole thing was a big metaphor for mental health that I didn’t understand. There are some parts I did like, like the quirky and flawed Bigtree family and its members, who are all very different from each other. Kiwi’s perspective was my favorite, and by far the most interesting.

I also didn’t like the way Russel handled some aspects of this book…Native American appropriation, anyone? I found much of the plot confusing but also kind of pointless, particularly what happened to Ava in the woods. And can someone please tell me what the red seth represented? Womanhood?!

Ultimately, I felt this is something I feel I didn’t understand and didn’t care to figure out.

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VERDICT: 3 out of 5 books

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