Book Nerd's Night Out: Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

 

This month’s The Bookmark Epic Reads Book Club gave hella Halloween vibes by picking Claire Legrand’s newest release Sawkill Girls. This book has been one of the weirdest we have read so far this year and it was perfect for the month of October. As usual, the book club was promoted by Epic Reads and we got to chat with Claire Legrand who was lovely and super fun to chat with.

Legrand’s novel, Sawkill Girls, follows the titular Sawkill girls: Marion, Val, and Zoey as they try to find out the reason as to why there are girls disappearing from the mysterious island they are in. Through the book, they look for these missing girls, try to rescue them, and stop in the process whoever is behind the kidnappings, or even murders. Incredibly descriptive and creative, the book is written in the same vein as the mystery thriller movie Cabin in the Woods, as well as Netflix's Series Stranger Things.  It is engaging and entertaining, not to mention that it will have you on the edge of your seat trying to figure out the mysteries of this unusual island with beautiful horses and powerful girls.

 

Even with the few minor technical difficulties through the Skype video call, we managed to have a satisfactory exchange with the author. Claire Legrand shared that she has always loved horses and that it was an important detail she added to her book since there are many significantly important horses in the story. She explained that the bond between a girl and a horse symbolizes power, and how it was a fundamental plot device that had the girls aware of their power. When asked to give writing advice from her own experience, she said that it is important to take your time writing. When it comes to world-building, take your time as well, spend a lot of time on music, the textures of the world you are creating, how it feels, tastes, sounds, and so on. She also mentioned that you go deep into this world by considering all the specific details that make it feel alive as our own. On the other hand of writing comes editing, and for this, she recommended us to trust people, get other eyes that will guide you to bettering yourself and your story. One of the book club attendees commented on how sometimes when writing she may think it sucks or is not good enough. To this, Legrand kindly said to not censor yourself while drafting. “Put everything down on the page. Don’t hold back. Practice finishing, [and] make sure you finish... It is important to not give up on your ideas.”

She also gave us some book recommendations, which were: Blanca Roja by Anna Marie McLemore, In The House In The Dark of The Woods by Laird Hunt, and the Metamorphoses Trilogy by Sarah McCarry.

 

From what I read, I immensely enjoyed Claire Legrand’s careful details that make her world and characters quickly come out of the page fully fleshed. It does not surprise me given to what she recommended us in terms of writing and world building. I enjoyed hearing her talk about her writing experience with this spooky story, and enjoy everyone’s questions about the book. Strange and unique, I look forward to reading it fully with these kick-ass girls.

- Jennifer

 

Sawkill Girlspremise immediately caught my attention since I am a big fan of books--and stories in general--that deal with the missing person storyline and the “whodunnit” trope. I really loved Claire Legrand’s writing style which managed to completely immerse me in this creepy place and kept me invested in the storyline as well. However, my favorite part was actually the titular girls: Zoey, Val, and Marion. I loved how each one was completely different from the other and how distinct their personalities were. They were all so much fun to read about, especially Zoey who was my personal favorite. As a fellow horse lover, it was also interesting to see how these wondrous animals played a pivotal role in this story.

Gabriela

 

Thank you, Claire Legrand, for chatting with us!

 

Stay tuned for next month’s Book Club, which will be Mackenzie Lee’s The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy, the sequel to her hit novel The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, on Wednesday, November 28th.

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