The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne

The Marsh King's Daughter

This is a hard review to write.  I do not want to give away the events that take place in this book, so I am not going to write much about what happens in the story.  Karen Dionne has written an amazing novel about the daughter of a 15-year-old kidnap victim and the captor that repeatedly raped and eventually impregnated her.  There is no question that this is a horrifying way to come into the world. It was 14 years before she and her mother managed to get free of this sadistic, narcissistic man, so the depth of damage done to both of them had to be extensive.  The story is told from the daughter, Helena’s point of view.  

What is so very intriguing to me is that Dionne writes with what can often appear to be a sort of coldness and insensitivity to the situation.  Why doesn’t Helena hate her father with every shred of her being? How can she have been so infatuated with her father? How in the world did she manage to marry a terrific guy and have two amazing daughters without years of difficult therapy?  

This is without a doubt one of the most thought-provoking books I have ever read.  It takes you into the mind of a victim like no other book has and brings you to a different understanding of what right and wrong is and how much a moral code can depend on how you are raised.  Don’t miss this read!

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