Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

A book with such a title and even an exclamation point, describing the Bigtree family wrestling “Seths”, their name for alligators, on their island in the Florida Everglades, suggests something farcical. But the stories told by the youngest daughter Ava in first person and about the eldest boy Kiwi in third person are told in earnest, as their idyllic ideals wrestle with the hard realities of the world. The writing is sometimes distractingly lyrical, but that seemed somehow suitable, evoking dreams of good, bad, and ugly scenes at a tawdry museum in some out of the way place.