Book Review: Marrow Island by Alexis M. Smith

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★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Marrow Island was a slow read for me because I was not up to my usual pace; not because it isn’t good. It is actually a captivating, eerie read that is a slow build-up with an unsettling ending. Apparently there is a lot of comparison to Station Eleven, but I personally don’t feel that at all.

Twenty years ago Lucie Bowen left Marrow Island after fleeing the aftermath of an earthquake that compromised the local refinery, killing her father, and ravaging the island’s environment. It’s set in post-disaster Washington state as Lucie returns to the island that is slowly rebuilding to reconnect with her childhood friend, Kate, who lives within a mysterious group called Marrow Colony that is located on part of the island—a community that claims to be “ministering to the Earth.” As an environmental journalist, Lucie’s experience tells her that there is more to the Colony than their charismatic leader is letting her know, and Lucie sets out on uncovering the secrets even if it endangers more than their mission.

Alexis M. Smith’s prose is lyrical, vivid, and haunting. When it comes to nature, as well as human instinct and emotion, there is such a raw and jarring quality to her writing that brings you in. This is a novel that can easily be read within a day or two, but I wanted to take my time to appreciate this beautifully crafted novel.

Synopsis

Twenty years ago Lucie Bowen left Marrow Island; along with her mother, she fled the aftermath of an earthquake that compromised the local refinery, killing her father and ravaging the island’s environment. Now, Lucie’s childhood friend Kate is living within a mysterious group called Marrow Colony—a community that claims to be “ministering to the Earth.” There have been remarkable changes to the land at the colony’s homestead. Lucie’s experience as a journalist tells her there’s more to the Colony—and their charismatic leader– than they want her to know, and that the astonishing success of their environmental remediation has come at great cost to the Colonists themselves. As she uncovers their secrets and methods, will Lucie endanger more than their mission? What price will she pay for the truth?

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Goodreads
Purchase on Amazon

I received a copy in exchange for an unbiased review through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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