The Girl in the Stilt House, a review by Di

posted in: blog tour, Di | 0

Kelly Mustian

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Sourcebooks Landmark
April 6, 2021
384 pages

Amazon | Goodreads

This is a compelling story about 2 young girls living together in the swamps of Louisiana, in a house built on stilts. One of the girls is white and the other is African American. It takes place in the 1920s, so race is an element in this story.

The book is divided into three parts. The first is Ada, the young white girl. The next part focuses on Matilda. Finally, the last part is alternately about both of them. They have formed a tenuous relationship. They both come from similar circumstances. The way they come together takes a while to come to light.

The setting is almost a character in this book. The author makes the swamp seem to be a living, breathing entity. The descriptive passages become visual in my mind.

The characters are extremely well developed. There are a couple of characters who are totally evil and despicable. Matilda is a huge enigma when we first meet her but the layers are slowly peeled away. Ada is withdrawn and timid due to the life she has been born into. There is a midwife with the wisdom that comes with age. Every other character is well defined though they are minor players.

Parts of the book are heart-wrenching. There is an element of mystery, there is friendship, there is bootlegging, there is murder, there is danger. Racial issues and inequality are part of the story. There is something on every page that keeps the reader going.

As many of the reviewers have mentioned, it is hard to believe that this is the first book by this author. She put her heart and soul into it. I look forward to what comes next.

The Girls in the Stilt House is a perfect book for anyone who likes southern historical fiction. I think that fans of Where the Crawdads Sing would also like this one.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.


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