I resisted reading this book for a while since the material sounded just too random to interest me. The story of a family in the Florida swamplands who own a floundering alligator tourist trap held virtually no appeal for me. The praise heaped on Karen Russell's book convinced me that it was worth picking up and giving it a whirl, and I'm glad I did. Thirteen-year-old Ava Bigtree is an unusual heroine but provides the backbone and heart of the bizarre tale. With a bright brother, a ghost-obsessed sister and a mostly absent father, she takes on the revitalization of their family's theme park by herself. The book is definitely unlike anything I've read before but it is well constructed and an entertaining read.