I know, I know, this book is super trendy right now. And it is good. And, it sticks with you. But, man, everyone’s going on about how fantastical and imaginative and supernatural it all is. Except that it’s not.
Sure, it’s at an alligator park, but hello, those places actually exist. I’ve been to one. And sure, the sister thinks she sees ghosts and the main little girl thinks she has to travel to the underworld to save her sister, but it ends up all being (spoiler alert, etc.) NOT TRUE. Which means that it’s not supernatural at all; it’s just a sad, dark time time for a family.
And that really became the case when the little girl (spoiler alert, again) gets raped. Even though you’re not really sure that’s what’s happening, because it’s one of those passages that’s all “and then I looked at the leaves falling and they fell like blood” or whatever. At that point, for me, the book took such a sharp turn, I just felt pissed off. It’s like when a friend was talking to me about And Then We Came to the End: "it changed direction so fast I got whiplash."
Note to HBO (who bought the rights and plan to turn it into a sitcom?): It’s not a comedy.
Karen Russell seems cool though.