Sonderbooks Book Review of

Sisters of the Lost Marsh

by Lucy Strange

Sisters of the Lost Marsh

by Lucy Strange
read by the author

Review posted March 21, 2024.
Scholastic Audio Books, 2023. 6 hours, 9 minutes.
Review written March 11, 2024, from a library eaudiobook.
2024 Odyssey Honor Audiobook
Starred Review

I put Sisters of the Lost Marsh on my eaudiobook holds list because of its Odyssey Honor win for one of the best audiobooks of the year, and I was not at all disappointed. What a delightfully creepy, wonderful book! The author reads her own book with a wonderful British accent, and I was carried along through the story.

Willa is the third of six sisters, and at twelve years old she's really the one who runs Grammy's farm in the middle of the marshlands. As the book opens, her father, who spends most of his time drunk, has made a deal with an old neighbor that the neighbor can marry Willa's oldest sister Grace in exchange for a fine horse named Flint.

The father is convinced in the truth of a local rhyme declaring that it's a curse to have six daughters. Marrying one off should break the curse.

Grace does not want to marry the neighbor, and when the three oldest sisters go to the Full Moon Fayre (with Willa sneaking out to join her sisters), a frightening warning from a fortune teller suggests that Grace should run away as soon as possible.

When Grace disappears the next day, things start to fall apart. Nobody wants to give up the horse, but the neighbor insists he's stolen if he doesn't get his bride, and has his eyes on the next sister, Freya. Willa's sure that Grace ran off with the Fayre, which left the same day she did. So she sets off across the marsh with Flint to warn Grace to never come back.

But there are obstacles and eerie things going on, and tales told about the marsh, a dangerous place. Nothing is as it seems at first. Willa must show great courage along the way, and the listener is right there with her. Willa must learn to discern between superstition and actual things to fear. I was rooting for Willa all the way in this satisfying read with a touch of magic and the feel of a folk tale.