The dual focus on Ava and Kiwi was interesting, but their "quest" stories start very late in the novel. And that's really the part that I found interesting. The rest of it seemed a bit directionless.
Don't get me wrong; as an aspiring novelist myself, I am loath to criticize anyone else's work, and Russell is an accomplished writer. But Swamplandia! just didn't rise to the level of expectation I had for it.