Delia Owens’ Where the Crawdads Sing– book review is something that I had been putting off for a while- well, actually reading it that is. The book is a hot ticket in many book clubs, but I had the impression that it was very Nicholas Sparks-esque. I think it was the title and/or cover that did it. I don’t know. I’ve read a couple of Sparks’ books. And I can get through them, but I don’t love them. In fact, they’re cheesy- and mostly problematic. (Fun fact: I once went on an Outer Banks tour and saw his house.) So, yes, I was judgmental with this book. Look. I teach English for a living, and I have a two year old. I don’t have a lot of time, and I already do a lot of reading for my career. If I’m going to read for pleasure during the school year- it’s not going to be Nicholas Sparks.
Reese Witherspoon on the other hand…
Well, I saw that Reese Witherspoon is going to make a movie out of the book, and that’s what swayed me. After I finally picked it up, it was hard for me to put down. There is a lot packed into this novel, and it would absolutely make a great Blockbuster.
This book has so much packed into it, but I never felt like it was trying too hard. I really didn’t. The book is a murder mystery. It is a romance. It is very much a drama- and also a tale of heroism. The ending is fun, too. I’m excited for this to be a movie. The main Character, Kya, is very well developed. I can see her clearly in my mind, so I really hope that Hollywood can find the perfect girl to play her.
In fact, what really kept me turning pages was Kya. I often forgot that the novel was a murder mystery because I just wanted to experience more of her. I wanted to step in her shoes, but also be her mother. (Which is why this is worth your time busy moms!) Speaking of characters, I do have some criticism…
First, some background: The book is set in the marshlands of North Carolina from 1950’s- 1970’s. Most of the characters are white, except for Jumpin’ and his wife, Mabel. (Yes, this book is many things. But, I do not think it is in any way trying to be political or historical.)
These two characters have a great impact on other characters and the plot. This is blatantly recognized several times throughout the book. It is evident that Kya would not have survived without them. Because of the impact that these characters have, why aren’t they anything more than static? They are basically tools for Kia’s survival, where other characters are much more developed. At one point, Kya goes to ‘Colored Town’, where they live, to visit them. I was excited to learn a little more about these characters because they’re so lovable.
What we end up seeing is a brief scene of abuse towards Jumpin’. He is attacked by racist teenagers. Unfortunately, this scene tells us more about the main character and the setting than anything else. We mainly experience Kya’s reaction to the abuse in this scene. And yes, I know the book is about her- but it would have been nice to have these important characters a little more explained. We don’t get the opportunity to learn more about their world, only how other characters react to it. Maybe this was the author’s choice as a way to show the segregation of the time. It’s just unfortunate because she gets the reader to really feel for and appreciate Jumpin’ and Mabel. To me, they came across as your token black characters that impact the plot, but are not expanded upon.
Delia Owens’ Where the Crawdads Sing- Book Review- Mother to Mother
Do I recommend this book to super busy moms? Yes. I already said it. It’s a great get away, and you will become involved. There’s suspense, drama, love and it also offers personal encouragement in a way. If you’re feeling like you’re taking on the world alone, like many moms do, you will relate to the main character. She perseveres on her own through a lot. This is a great “after the kids are asleep” treat. I would definitely look forward to a glass of wine and a couple chapters from this book in bed every night.
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