Since Eva Bigtree's mom (and the star of their family's Everglades alligator wresting show) died of cancer, things have been going downhill fast for Swamplandia! As the tourism dries up, her already crazy dad, The Chief, goes off on bigger and bigger schemes in an attempt to reinvigorate their appeal. And each of the Bigtree kids finds their own way to deal with the changes and their loss.
This book has been super-hyped as "THE BOOK" of the year, and I couldn't resist the setup: a girl alligator wrestler? Yes, please!
But I wasn't prepared for the dream-like surrealism of the story; I was never completely sure what was true and what might be fantasy or hallucination. It is a great story, lyrically written and fascinating, worth pondering - and potentially awesome for a book discussion title.