Book Review of Where the Crawdads Sing – The Best of 2019
My Rating – 4.5 out of 5
Plot Summary – Where the Crawdads Sing
This is author Delia Owens’s debut novel and the vivid imagery she captures of the North Carolina swamps fully justify her chosen vocation of a Wildlife Scientist.
The haunting images of the mysterious swampland are both magnetic as well as, captivating. At times, the reader maybe compelled to feel that the swamp has invaded the room the reader is in, so powerful is the imagery!
“His dad had told him many times that the definition of a real man is one who cries without shame, reads poetry with his heart, feels opera in his soul, and does what’s necessary to defend a woman.”From Where the Crawdads Sing
Set between 1952 to 1970, the novel traces the life life of Kya Clark, a girl abandoned by her family in a shack in the swamps, who the locals call the “Swamp Girl” and not fondly.
She survives with and among the wildlife around her, learning camouflage tricks to avoid Truant Officers looking for her, teaching herself hunting and gathering skills, catching mussels and fish and then selling her catch in the town nearby.
As she grows into teenage, she gets attracted to and by two boys from town, of the same age as her. The nice boy Tate and arrogant and prickly Chase. Thus develops a three way story which, surprisingly, takes a violent turn. there is unrequited love and there is darkness beyond rational understanding, but above all, there is empathy and the genius of a writer putting that on paper.
Lot of times love doesn’t work out. Yet even when it fails, it connects you to others and, in the end, that is all you have, the connections.From Where the Crawdads Sing
While the novel at times veers close to becoming a soppy romance, it is saved by the vein of crime that runs just below the surface.
The poignancy of the beautiful landscape and the adventure of a girl growing up all alone in the great wilderness are the greatest pulls of this and makes for an attractive and leisurely read.
Conclusion of Book Review of Where the Crawdads Sing
That this novel graces the Bestseller list of New York Times even now in 2021, is testament to the unbridled popularity of this book. As far as memory serves, it is very very rare for a book to stay on the list for more than hundred weeks, that too for a debut novel.
Sometimes she heard night-sounds she didn’t know or jumped from lightning too close, but whenever she stumbled, it was the land who caught her. Until at last, at some unclaimed moment, the heart-pain seeped away like water into sand. Still there, but deep. Kya laid her hand upon the breathing, wet earth, and the marsh became her mother.Kya Clark in Where the Crawdads Sing
This is a work of art, the poise and assurance in the prose befits a novelist of decades long vintage. It is so delightful that you don’t want it to end, and would want to forget parts of it so that you could go back and read it again! Read it if you haven’t already….