Where the Crawdads Singby Published 14 Aug 2018
|Where the Crawdads Sing.pdf|
|Publisher||G.P. Putnam’s Sons|
Where the Crawdads Sing Ebook Description
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For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.
Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.
Where the Crawdads Sing Reviews
*5 Stars, easily!*
WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING is a gentle yet symbolic depiction of the valiant survival of Kya Clark—a reclusive young girl who has been abandoned by her parents, siblings, school system, the entire town surrounding her, and what ultimately feels like life itself.
Mother Nature has literally become Kya’s caretaker, and deep in a lonely Marsh along the North Carolina coast is where Kya will not only hide, but blossom into a primal independent being, coaxed inside the loyal embrace of an indiscriminate wilderness as she embodies its uninhibited spirit.
Until a young boy from “yonder” befriends Kya, and her lonely existence is shaken straight to its solemn core. Add to that the curious unsolved murder of the town’s local “Golden Boy”, and all that’s left to say is GAME. ON.
Although this story delivers one hell of a powerful punch, it is sculpted with quite a humble hand; a delicate wind that keeps building and building until it ends up emphatically blowing your mind.
The writing. The Writing …Prose so unique; so breathtaking; so utterly beautiful that a single description of a firefly suddenly grows so intimate and probing, and I might have gotten something in my eye—*sniff*.
Here you’ll find sentences that read like poetry, with a lyrical rhythm that sways the reader like the gentle rocking of a boat. Yet it is not showy over 0ver-the-top --- but perfect.
Owens doesn't tell us what to think, but alludes to each message through writing so alive you can almost hear it breathing. She carries us through her dense, atmospheric tone and persuades us to seek and find; discover and examine, all on our own.
She allows her striking imagery to guide us as the marsh has guided Kya, and I felt as though I could smell the sea and taste the sweetness of new love.
Kya’s journey spans years, the reader present from her childhood into maturity. I love this story’s ode to wilderness and Mother Earth with all her glorious wonder; her instinctual need to nurture and protect. I love each character’s flawed nature as well as those redeemed. I love the heart and soul that saturates every inch of this story, and more than anything, I LOVE that spectacularly bold ending!
There were a few tedious moments where I thought this story might begin to drag and possibly not live up to its hype, but I was wrong, and this story was so, SO right.
To the reader who appreciates nature’s effortless beauty honored in fiction; to those who seek a love story every bit true as it is tender; to the one who needs a tantalizing murder/mystery to spice things up, and for those who tend to root for the underdog in hopes she’ll someday sparkle like the gem she is—this one’s for you.
*Traveling Friends Read*
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Normally I would not finish let alone review a book I disliked as much as I did this one, but since I bought the book and am reading it for my book club, I’ve decided to say what I think:
I found the writing of this romance/murder mystery to be painfully schizophrenic—almost as if there were two different authors: an experienced one for the vivid narrative and an amateur for dialogue and character development (which in fact may be the case, since the author’s an experienced nature writer and this is her first novel).
The story is told in two time periods: Young Kya, left alone in the marsh to fend for herself, starts the story in 1952; and police investigate a murder in 1969. The opening lyrical descriptions of the swampland and inner thoughts of the swamp kids had soul—I loved, felt, and smelled the land, sea, air, and dense plants. But when people started talking, the writing became stilted, overwritten, and unbelievable. This happened in the earlier time period with Kya and a boy and the boy and his dad, and same thing with the 1969 police dialogue. The kids’ scenes had an after-school TV special sound and the police scenes sounded canned, like a marshlands-of-North Carolina version of Law and Order, where exposition is awkwardly inserted to move the story forward or there is overwriting that takes away from what could have sounded more authentic to the region. For example, a deputy says to his sheriff:
“I’m hungry. Let’s go by the diner on the way out there.”Why not just, “I’m hungry,” and cut to the wonderful description of the Barkley Cove Diner and the scene of people gossiping about the crime?
“Well, get ready for an ambush. Everybody in town’s pretty riled up. Chase Andrew’s murder’s the biggest thing’s happened ’round here, maybe ever. Gossip’s goin’ up like smoke signals.”
“Well, keep an ear out. We might pick up a tidbit or two. Most ne’er-do-wells can’t keep their mouths shut.”(61)
In real life, people do not say everything they’re thinking or narrate everything that’s happening or is going to happen. In fact, most of us lie about what we really think—if we are even self-aware enough to know our subconscious thoughts. Leaving out thoughts, leaving gaps in truth, and trusting the characters a writer has created allows subtext and real character to drive things forward. There is none of that here.
I found the character development absurd: Simply put, there are no authentic, complex characters. Kya starts as a believable swamp rat, which is inconsistent with what we learn about the derivation of her parents. Her voice is unbelievably inconsistent throughout the book. Then there are the two one-dimensional romances, one of which allows her to learn to read at age 14 and grow into an educated, sophisticated, poetry-reciting biologist, knowing lyrics to songs she never would have heard, etc., and the other, a sexual relationship where she doesn’t even think about getting pregnant although she seems to have learned all her biology from the esoteric scientific texts she reads.
I finished this book by skimming large sections, starting at page 164 when the entire plot became apparent, sans an end-of-book twist which was intellectually fun, but just as unbelievable as the manipulations of Kya’s character.
Sorry, friends who adore this book, I’m an outlier on this one, I guess.
4.5 stars rounded up .
A story of survival, of what the depth of loneliness feels like when a young girl is abandoned first by her mother, then her four siblings. Even at five Kya understands why they left - because of her father, because of his meanness, his abuse, his drinking. What she doesn’t understand is why they left her behind and neither could I. She remains pretty much alone since her father comes and goes until he doesn’t come back. It was gutting as she sits on the beach with the gulls not wanting them to fly away and leave her too. Heartbreaking how she is neglected and abandoned, remembering the beatings, trying to figure out a way to eat.
Atmospheric is an understatement, and I don’t use that word often because it seems overused sometimes but this place, the marsh permeates just about everything that is meaningful in this story beginning with Kya’s realization “And the marsh became her mother.” The marsh becomes her life, her livelihood, the essence of who she becomes through her self learned expertise of the insects and the birds, her art. But is it enough to heal her? The kind hearts of Jumpin’ and Mabel who help a little girl alone and in need, the only human contact she has until her brother’s friend Tate comes into her life, but is that enough to help her heal ? I love the writing, fabulous descriptions of the marsh. The marsh and its inhabitants, the insects, the fish, the birds which pique Kya’s curiosity, give her so much joy and company, and allow her to become the expert she does become on the marsh and marsh life. But is that enough to make Kya whole after so much hurt and loneliness?
There’s a murder mystery, not my usual fare, but I was totally engaged, trying to come up with who the murderer was, totally engaged in the courtroom scenes. I gave it 4.5 stars because there were a couple of things that felt not quite realistic. But when I woke up thinking about this story, I knew I would round it up to 5 stars . I don’t often cry over books, but this one definitely brought me to tears at a number of places. Overall it was such a fabulous read, heartbreaking in so many ways, with wonderful writing and characters, a stunning portrait of a place, of the trauma of loss and loneliness. My heart was always broken for Kya, a character to remember. An unforgettable ending.
This was a monthly read with Esil and Diane and as always I appreciate their thoughts as we read together. In this case, we have very similar feelings about this beautiful story.
I received an advanced copy of this book from G.P. Putnam’s Sons through Edelweiss.
I really enjoyed the parts of this book that were related to the marsh and the natural world, but the story itself did not wow me. I am definitely in the minority here - many glowing reviews, but it had a “women’s literature” flavor to me that I don’t personally care for.
A nice fiction debut for Owens; just not my cuppa.
You know that person? The one who doesn't like what everyone else seems to love? There has to be someone in the outlier club and this time it is me. I was highly anticipating this book after reading all the praise from readers whose tastes usually align with my own. Unfortunately, I should have DNF'd this one when very early in the book, my eyes glazed over and I began skimming pages and pages of descriptive writing. The author is a nature writer and those sections were undoubtably well-written. But I don’t care for overly descriptive writing. And then there's poetry. I skipped over those as well.
Everything other reviewers say they enjoyed were things I intensely disliked. I struggled with believability. I won't list them all, but the implausibility of every single plot point was something I couldn’t get past.
To make things worse, romance is not a genre I enjoy and the romance in this book had a very YA feel to it.
Finally, I found the use of dialect distracting to read and often in the same paragraph a character would switch from local dialect to proper English.
Sometimes my love of the story or the strength of the writing is enough for me to ignore implausibility and move past a few things I don't like. This wasn't one of those times.
Recommended for readers who enjoy long, descriptive nature writing, and those who have no trouble suspending disbelief. If I had known these things before starting this book I would have skipped it, so perhaps my review will help other readers like me.
* Thanks to Edelweiss for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review