Nominated for 2023 Townsend Prize for Fiction

Selected for 2023 Books All Georgian Should Read


the floating girls

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For readers of Delia Owens's Where the Crawdads Sing and Louise Erdrich's The Round House, comes a fresh new voice in Southern fiction. A wonderfully atmospheric coming-of-age family drama told from the perspective of a feisty 12-year-old girl—reminiscent of a modern-day Scout Finch—as she unravels the secrets that threaten her entire family.

Awards & Honors

–– Georgia Center for the Book, 2023
Books All Georgians Should Read

"A winning mixture of insight and naiveté, humor and pathos, vulnerability and strength ... a masterly achievement."

–– Publishers Weekly, STARRED review Full review

a novel

The backwaters of Georgia hold many buried secrets. But they won't stay buried forever.

One hot, sticky summer in Bledsoe, Georgia, twelve-year-old Kay Whitaker stumbles across a stilt house in a neighboring marsh and upon Andy Webber, a boy about her age. He and his father have recently moved back to Georgia from California, and rumors of the suspicious drowning death of Andy's mother years earlier have chased them there and back.

Kay is fascinated and enamored with Andy, and she doesn't listen when her father tells her to stay away from the Webbers. But when Kay's sister goes missing, the mystery of Mrs. Webber's death—and Kay's parents' potential role in it—comes to light. Kay and her brothers must navigate the layers of secrets that emerge in the course of the investigation as their family, and the world as they knew it, unravels around them.

At once wickedly funny and heartbreaking, it is an immersive coming-of-age story narrated by a feisty, smart, yet undeniably vulnerable girl reminiscent of a modern-day Scout Finch—a character who will live in readers' hearts for a long time to come.

Buy the floating girls

"The Georgia marshes hide a compelling mystery in The Floating Girls, but nothing can hide from the astute gaze of 12-year-old Kay Whitaker. Kay is the smartest, funniest, most curious young narrator I have come across in some time. Her voice stuck with me long after I finished reading. If I met Kay on the street, I'd beg her to be my best friend."

–– Tiffany Quay Tyson, award-winning author of The Past is Never

"Fans of Where the Crawdads Sing will love this immersive mystery set against the salty air of Georgia's marshes. In Patrick's atmospheric prose, the water and its characters come to life. And many Southern women who just couldn't seem to do right and fit in will recognize themselves in twelve-year-old Kay; I know I did."

–– Lindsey Rogers Cook, author of Learning to Speak Southern

"Lo Patrick’s The Floating Girls is a powerhouse of a Southern novel. At once a poignant coming-of-age tale, a murder mystery, and an evocative tribute to the marshlands of Georgia, this lush and mesmerizing debut has a beating heart of its own. Lo Patrick is a standout new Southern voice."

–– Andrea Bobotis, author of The Last List of Miss Judith Kratt

"To read The Floating Girls is to feel a small-town slowness seep into your bones. The books narrator, Kay Whitaker, is a stubborn young girl you’ll never forget. A cracking story that unfolds in gorgeous prose in the stultifying heat of the American South."

–– Hayley Scrivenor, author of Dirt Creek

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