Library Journal Review
Kidnapped at age 14, Helena's mother got pregnant and gave birth in a cabin in the marshlands of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, where she and her daughter were held prisoner for more than a decade. Over the years, Helena's violent and reclusive father taught her how to survive in the wilderness. Now that she's an adult and her father is in prison, Helena has built a new and safe life for herself. But when he escapes from prison, leaving behind him a trail of bodies, Helena knows she is the only person who can successfully track her father through Michigan's wilderness. VERDICT Echoing Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale of the same title, -Dionne's (The Killing; Uncommon Denominator) latest is a well-crafted, eerie, and unnerving psychological thriller. With a strong setting and swift pacing, this novel is recommended for readers who enjoyed Emma Donoghue's Room and Travis -Mulhauser's Sweetgirl.[ See Prepub Alert, 1/4/17.]-Emily -Hamstra, Seattle © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Helena Pelletier, the narrator of Dionne's (Freezing Point) exceptional hardcover debut, a psychological thriller, lives an ordinary life in Michigan's Upper Peninsula-mother to five-year-old Iris and three-year-old Mari, wife to Stephen-but her childhood was not normal. Her mother was kidnapped at age 14 by Jacob Holbrook and taken to a remote cabin, where Helena was born three years later. When Helena was about 12, she and her mother escaped, their rescue making international headlines. No one, not even Stephen, knows her background, until Jacob escapes from prison after 13 years, killing two guards before disappearing into the woods less than 30 miles from the Pelletiers' house. Knowing how he thinks, Helena is the only one who can find Jacob. Detailed flashbacks show Helena had an odd but decent childhood. To the world, Jacob was a monster; to Helena, he was just her father, who taught her to fish, hunt, and track, and told involving stories, and was occasionally brutal. Helena's conflicting emotions about her father and her own identity elevate this powerful story. Author tour. Agent: Jeff Kleinman, Folio Literary Management. (June) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Booklist Review
Helena and her mother are trapped in the swampy wilderness of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Their captor is Helena's father, Jacob, who kidnapped her mother when the mother was a teenager; Helena was born in the family's miserable cabin. Our heroine and her mother are not physically imprisoned, but Jacob's iron-clad rules and physical and mental abuse are chains enough. Over the course of the book, we see the girl increasingly disheartened with the only life she's known, outside of reading 50-year-old copies of National Geographic. A chance sighting of outsiders is the last straw. The book starts with Helena's new life a current-day predicament has precipitated a look back at her captivity so it's no spoiler to reveal that she escapes, but the mystery of how she comes to do it will keep readers gripped until the end. Entwined in the story are many details of hunting and other subsistence ways of life that Helena's Ojibwa father has taught her. For fans of Emma Donoghue's Room and of novels with strong female leads.--Verma, Henrietta Copyright 2017 Booklist