The Girls in the Stilt House
THE USA TODAY BESTSELLER!
"Remarkable debut.... [a] nearly flawless tale of loss, perseverance and redemption."—Publishers Weekly, STARRED review
Perfect for readers of Where The Crawdads Sing! Set in 1920s Mississippi, this debut Southern novel weaves a beautiful and harrowing story of two teenage girls cast in an unlikely partnership through murder.
Ada promised herself she would never go back to the Trace, to her hard life on the swamp and her harsh father. But now, after running away to Baton Rouge and briefly knowing a different kind of life, she finds herself with nowhere to go but back home. And she knows there will be a price to pay with her father.
Matilda, daughter of a sharecropper, is from the other side of the Trace. Doing what she can to protect her family from the whims and demands of some particularly callous locals is an ongoing struggle. She forms a plan to go north, to pack up the secrets she's holding about her life in the South and hang them on the line for all to see in Ohio.
As the two girls are drawn deeper into a dangerous world of bootleggers and moral corruption, they must come to terms with the complexities of their tenuous bond and a hidden past that links them in ways that could cost them their lives.
Set in the early 1920s, Mustian's remarkable debut focuses on two teenage girls, one white, the other Black, in Mississippi's Natchez Trace. Ada Morgan's trapper father makes most of his money stealing pelts from others' traps and barely puts food on the table; Matilda Patterson is the daughter of a sharecropper who dreams of farming his own plot. Both fathers are under the thumb of a local bootlegger, who puts their families at risk. Ada runs away, following a carnival musician to Louisiana, but returns home after he leaves her. Matilda, who writes newspaper articles about prejudice and poverty in the Deep South under a pseudonym, dreams of joining a friend who lives in Ohio. Brought together by a shocking twist of fate, the girls form an uneasy alliance to survive amid growing racial tension and violence in the Trace. Authentic characters complement the vivid setting readers will feel the weight of the Trace's humidity in this nearly flawless tale of loss, perseverance, and redemption.
Best in a long time….
It won me over quickly after a doubtful start. The characters are so strong, the loved and the hated ones alike. Everything I needed to do got neglected as I read fervently to the end. A great accidental reading treat.
I enjoyed the writing style of the author. She balanced the story with expertise considering this is her debut novel
The characters were developed and the plot developed slowly and deliberately by end of chapter 1 I was committed to the story
The character development of each person and the evolving plot makes this story engaging and believable.