Book Review of Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Where the Crawdads Sing has received mixed reviews, yet it has sold 4 million copies! Reviewers have criticised it for reading like young adult fiction and lacking sophisticiation. It has been slated because a court room drama cannot sit side-by-side with a rich atmospheric account of living in the North Carolina marshes, writers have said that the tropes used are too obvious and the symbolism flawed. I didn't overly notice any of these alleged faults and thought it was an excellent read from beginning to end.
Where the Crawdads Sing tells the story of Kya, who was forced into social isolation from the age of six after her whole family, one by one, left her. The final member to leave was her abusive father. Surviving almost entirely by herself, aided only by the occasional kindness of strangers and the steadfast kindness of black neighbour Jumini and his wife, she learns to hunt and cook in order to literally survive.
Where the Crawdads Sing is a tale of immense loneliness. Kya is ostracized and shunned by most of her neighbours. Known as the 'marsh girl' she is different to her neighbours, having a deep affinity with nature. It is the gulls she turns to in times of tremendous sorrow and grief. Kya is highly intelligent and to move the plot forward needs to read. Stage entrance, Tate, a local boy who for a while becomes her tutor, before he too leaves her.
Kya uses her knowledge of nature to understand relationships and clings to the false hope that all mothers eventually come back. She also attempts to understand her ill-fated relationship with village hearthrob Chaser through comparisons to nature. Eventually accused and acquitted of the murder of Chase, who 'fell' to his death through an open Fire Tower trap door we feel that Kya can finally find some peace in her life. A good murder mystery wouldn't be satisfactory without a few twists and turns and that isn''t quite the end of the story of Where the Crawdads Sing.
Book Discussion Questions on Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Bookclub Questions for Where the Crawdads Sing (if you haven't read the book!)
Summary of Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Four million copies of Delia Owen's Where the Crawdads Sing have been sold. Owen's novel is constantly towards the top of the New York Times' Best Seller List; she has been featured by Oprah and it is a Richard and Judy book club choice, yet until a couple of days ago I hadn't even heard of it! As for reading about the potential murder investigation that would occur in Zambia should Owen's ex-husband ever return there, well I'll leave that for the salacious minded to find out about! For now, though I would definitely recommend that you join four million others and read Where the Crawdads Sing. A completely differnt style of book, but I wouldn't be surprised in the next year or two it finds itself on various prize winning lists. I guess, of books I've recently read, it is most similiar to Tara Westover's Educated, though of course that is an actual memoir rather than fiction.