Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Wednesday Book Review: Sawkill Girls

Hello TBF enthusiasts! Spring is coming… I can feel it in the air. However, while we eagerly wait for the last vestiges of winter to leave us,  there is no better activity to pass the time than to read a couple fantastic books. Lucky for you, I have just the suggestion.

Beware of the woods and the dark, dank deep.

He’ll follow you home, and he won’t let you sleep.

Who are the Sawkill Girls?

Marion: the new girl. Awkward and plain, steady and dependable. Weighed down by tragedy and hungry for love she’s sure she’ll never find.

Zoey: the pariah. Luckless and lonely, hurting but hiding it. Aching with grief and dreaming of vanished girls. Maybe she’s broken—or maybe everyone else is.

Val: the queen bee. Gorgeous and privileged, ruthless and regal. Words like silk and eyes like knives, a heart made of secrets and a mouth full of lies.

Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires.

Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight… until now.
Sawkill Girls
Photo courtesy of Goodreads

Imagine a world where girls are disappearing and there is a horrible legend haunting the town. Sawkill Girls, by Claire Legrand, invents this creative and creepy world, where the reader is kept on the edge of their seat, wondering what exactly is happening to the girls that go missing. I should confess right here: I am not usually a fan of the horror genre. No IT for me. However, Sawkill Girls was the perfect dash of creepy without being too horrifying. The mystery that permeates the plot is really quite enjoyable to read, as it offers crumbs of clues to the reader, but holds out on the big reveal. I loved the characters that Legrand crafted in this novel-- they really made the story. All three main characters are deep and face their struggles in a remarkably human way. Zoey’s biting wit, Marion’s resilient personality, and Val’s conflicted nature really shine throughout the story. The dynamic that these three girls create is incredibly memorable. 
Really, though, the true mark of brilliance in Sawkill Girls was its social commentary. Sawkill Girls took on a lot of the sexism that permeates society, pointing out the lack of power that women have felt throughout the ages, and challenging the idea that women are powerless with three incredibly powerful main characters that do not need a man to come and save them. Legrand includes multiple moments where the girls reflect on how their gender has affected the way that society treats them and the decide to stand up for themselves. There is an interesting element in the book as well of girls being ordered what to do by men separated from the situation: Legrand take this on with grace and wit. 
Sawkill Girls is an excellent feminist read, particularly with Friday the 13th coming up. I highly suggest that you grab a couple from your local library and then talk with Legrand about it at Tenn Book Fest. I remember her from a couple of years back (back when she was promoting Sawkill Girls before it came out) and she is incredibly nice!

Happy reading!


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