First of all, I'll tell you what I loved about the book. I loved the writing--the way the author put words together creating a beautiful scene. She is very talented and has a wonderful, lilting, poetic, picturesque way about her prose. I enjoyed it. I also liked her main story idea of this young girl being abandoned out in the marsh, but learns to survive on her own. I believe someone like her could be a 'scientist' of sorts. I imagine someone like her could find and accurately categorize the wildlife, flora, and fauna of the place that is her whole world. But, her rise in the 'academic world' just wasn't believable. Very intriguing idea, but not convincing. Maybe I'm just a little too much of a realist to completely lose myself in that aspect of the story. Perhaps if the author would have described some 'hardships' other than extreme loneliness (and at first hunger). Everything on the marsh was just so romantic and beautiful. What about the reality of living on the marsh? The bugs in the food, the idea of using the woods for nature calls esp. during that time of the month, or when you've got food poisoning from no refrigeration, or catch a cold, or suffer from numerous insect bites making your skin look terrible from excessive scratching, or what happens if you cut yourself, break a bone or need antibiotics? What person escapes childhood (even with lots of adults around) without any sickness or injury requiring adult intervention? Everything was just too beautiful--almost Disney-fied. Nothing (but humans) can hurt you in the marsh...yeah right. And the fact that she was just so beautiful and irresistible was also just a bit unbelievable. We're talking about someone who isn't going to have the best hygiene, wouldn't have shaved her legs or armpits, no visits to the dentist, no floss, etc. etc. Her hair was long, beautiful, flowing...all the time without any products or seeing a professional. Marsh life would be tough on hair I would imagine. Yeah, all right, you could say all these miraculous beauty secrets COULD happen with some kind of natural remedies, but I have big doubts. I'm just saying some of the 'she is like a beautiful fairy with flowers intertwined in her luscious hair; her clear, unbitten, unblemished, flawless skin, and a perfect figure'...bothered me. Yes, she could be naturally beautiful, but what about every day hardships? Maybe throw in a few realistic aspects of living in the wild. Just watching Survivor would show you how people really look after time in the wild. Some of it ain't pretty. So, the Marsh girl is beautiful and smarter than anyone could imagine...almost everyone misjudges her. That whole theme went a little overboard in my opinion. And the conversations that she had with her love interests...unbelievably boring. I kept listening for some sign that there was all that intellect hidden under that Disney princess hair, but if you judge her on her dialogue alone? Yawn. Also, when the author has the main character reading poetry...I always picture the writer thinking, "filler...I need filler..." A little bit is fine, but too much becomes distracting IMO. Overall, despite my somewhat critical review, I enjoyed this book enough to give it four stars. I just thought a little too much suspension of belief distracted me from the story. Others may not find the Gorgeous-Nymph-in-a-boat in a magical marsh where she's friends with all creatures-fairytale as unbelievable or irritating as I did. But, still it was an entertaining read and that is usually what I judge books on. All in all, the author has a beautiful way with words and I would recommend this book.