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The Suwannee: Strange Green Land: 07/07/15
The Suwannee: Strange Green Land by Cecile Hulse Matschat is the third of the Rivers of America series that started in the 1930s. The Suwannee runs from Georgia through the center of Florida, and curves towards the west, emptying out into the Gulf of Mexico side of the state.
But this book isn't so much about the river as it is a collection of folksy tales of life in the swamplands of Florida. Most of these vignettes are told from the point of view of the Plant Woman, a botanist from New York. She is the stand in for the non-Floridian reader, an unnamed, upper middle class person who sees the proud Floridians as backwards, backwater dwelling childlike people.
Except, the folksy voice and the focus on old wives tales and Uncle Remus type stories felt like a backfire to me. I didn't come away from reading the book knowing anything more about the Suwannee than I did before. There's none of the history, geography of previous books. There is some ecology and biology but wrapped up in the context of preparing folk remedies.