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the novel tells us the story of a gutsy 13- year old Ava Bigtree who struggles to save the Bigtree alligator – wrestling dynasty from declining, the plot is set in Florida Everglades at an alligator – wrestling theme park. Swamplandia! is their island home and their gator- wrestling theme park is facing a tough competitor called World of Darkness. Ava’s mother dies, her sister falls in love with a spooky character, her father is AWOL, which leaves Ava to manage ninety- eight gators and the vast landscape of her own grief.
What makes this book stand out?
The book is one among top 10 books and is an utterly singular novel about a family's struggle to stay afloat in a world that is inexorably sinking. It is a beautiful and inventive work from a vibrant new voice in the world of fiction.
Read it for
There are significant gothic elements in the novel. There are quirky details in the novel which is overwhelming.
Don't read it for
The density of the prose is exhausting and the mixing of the modes is a problematic element. It is also difficult to commit to entirely one element of the book.