Wednesday, September 29, 2021

The Girls in the Stilt House by Kelly Mustian

The Girls in the Stilt House by Kelly Mustian was published earlier this year on April 6, 2021. I first learned about this historical fiction novel set in Mississippi from another book blogger (I have forgotten which book blogger off the top of my head) who loved this novel! 

So, I decided to listen to the unabridged audio version of The Girls in the Stilt House by Kelly Mustian and narrated by Johanna Parker. Listening time for this novel is 9 hours, 56 minutes.

I'm glad I read The Girls in the Stilt House by Kelly Mustian. It's a good read, but I didn't care for the narration of this novel. The southern accent felt off to me, so I wish I'd read the book instead of listened to it.

The Girls in the Stilt House by Kelly Mustian is a debut novel by the author and it is impressive for a first novel. Overall the writing was good. So is the storyline/plot... However, at times I felt like the pace of The Girls in the Stilt House was slow. 

My favorite character from The Girls in the Stilt House is Gertie/“Miss Tuttle", who is an elderly, colored midwife/nurse who is filled with so much wisdom. Gertie/“Miss Tuttle" is a true treasure within the community.

Below is the plot summary for The Girls in the Stilt House by Kelly Mustian from Amazon:

Set in 1920s Mississippi, this debut Southern novel weaves a beautiful and harrowing story of two teenage girls cast in an unlikely partnership through murder—perfect for readers of Where the Crawdads Sing and If the Creek Don't Rise.

Ada promised herself she would never go back to the Trace, to her hard life on the swamp and her harsh father. But now, after running away to Baton Rouge and briefly knowing a different kind of life, she finds herself with nowhere to go but back home. And she knows there will be a price to pay with her father.

Matilda, daughter of a sharecropper, is from the other side of the Trace. Doing what she can to protect her family from the whims and demands of some particularly callous locals is an ongoing struggle. She forms a plan to go north, to pack up the secrets she's holding about her life in the South and hang them on the line for all to see in Ohio.

As the two girls are drawn deeper into a dangerous world of bootleggers and moral corruption, they must come to terms with the complexities of their tenuous bond and a hidden past that links them in ways that could cost them their lives.

I am giving The Girls in the Stilt House by Kelly Mustian a rating of 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Until my next post, happy reading!


  1. 1920s Mississippi was such a fraught time and place. If this writer deals honestly with it, that is quite an accomplishment for a debut novel.

    1. At the end of the audiobook there is an author interview. It sounds like Kelly Mustian did quite a bit of research for her novel. She even lived in Mississippi for a time.