The Stillwater Girls by Minka Kent

I find that writing reviews for really awesome books and really horrible books are the easiest. Writing reviews for those that are solidly in the middle are the most difficult of all for me. The Stillwater Girls, my first book by Minka Kent, is a solid 3 star: a good read, interesting, but quite flawed.

51CFdbIbZ9LamazonStillwater is a forest in upstate New York in which two girls, Sage and Wren, have lived with their mother and younger sister, Evie, for their entire lives. They, quite literally, have had no contact with civilization. There are no cell phones, radios, televisions, internet – nothing. They never have seen another human being outside of the women in their cabin. At least, not that they can remember. Their mother occasionally meets up with a “supply man” who sells their homemade soaps and brings them supplies but, for the most part, they are self sufficient and adequately living off of the land around them. Until the night that Evie falls ill and their mother leaves the cabin to take her to find medical help. Wren and Sage wait….and wait…. Wren carefully marking off the days on her homemade calendar, weeks, then a month and then two. Then a man arrives at their cabin and their lives change forever.

Stillwater Girls completely had me hooked for the majority of the book. Kent is an amazing writer and the story of these girls, how they survived, their meager happiness and their fears, were palpable. I absolutely loved them. Until the final stage of the book. It was as though I was watching a ball of yarn unraveling. The storyline itself began to come apart string by string. While I appreciate plot twists and surprises, those in Stillwater Girls, felt so contrived and unbelievable that I wanted to back up and re-read it all again hoping for a different outcome. Surely all of the great writing at the beginning couldn’t fall apart like this at the end, could it? But, sadly, it did. That’s not to say that as whole the book wasn’t good because it was. It could have been terrific, though, and it wasn’t.

I appreciate the advanced copy given to me by #Netgalley, #Thomas&Mercer and #MinkaKent. I have read such great things about Kent’s books and definitely will read one of her other works.

 

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12 thoughts on “The Stillwater Girls by Minka Kent

  1. WHOA! I hate it when a book appears to be a terrific read and then falls apart like that. I wonder if the author just gets so tired of it, it’s finished–good, bad, or indifferent. It does ruin what might have been a very good book. Too bad.

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    1. Exactly! There are times when I would love to talk with the author and ask what they thought, was that their original intent, did an editor perhaps change something? It was an enjoyable read overall and the story of the girls, themselves, was compelling. I just wish the ending could be re-worked. Thanks for you comment!

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  2. That’s too bad, Mackey. I agree with you that it’s harder to write reviews for the books that are just okay, and I hate to hear this one feel apart. I wonder how it went from really good to not so good; it makes you wonder what she was thinking. I hope your next book (or the one you’re reading now) is much better! Fantastic, honest review!

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    1. I just don’t know, Stephanie. Of course, this is why I’m not a writer. I never would know how to end a book. I rarely know how to end a review. 😉 The book was so good otherwise, so it was more of a let-down than it would have been otherwise, I think. I have so many great books that I’ve read just waiting to get out of my head and onto this blog. It’s so much easier to read them than to review them.

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  3. Great review Mackey. It is hard to write a review for a book that is good, just not great. I always worry that I will turn people off and they might have given it a chance otherwise. When I started reading this one, it reminded me a bit of Where the Crawdads Sing, too bad the ending seemed contrived. Perhaps the author didn’t know how to end it and gave up, we will never know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was just asked to read Where the Crawdads Sing for it paperback release. I somehow missed it before. I’m really looking forward to it. I think that might be exactly what happened with the ending. There was so much going on and then, suddenly, it was all wrapped up. It wasn’t too long and there was still time to do more. It felt truncated and that was disappointing.

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