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  • Writer's pictureKali Kuzma

Where the Crawdads Sing By Delia Owens: A Book Review

A Book Exchange

I often ask people what they are currently reading. As I've gotten older, I haven't stayed on the popular book trends like I used to. So, when someone mentions a book they are reading, or I know that person is an avid reader I will ask if the title they're currently reading is any good.

My best friend loves to 'read', or in this case listen to while she works, so our conversations usually turn to the latest novel.

A month before Christmas, while having a conversation about books, it hit me. Why don't we do a book exchange instead of gifts?

Upon agreement, I quickly went to my bookshelf giving her an array of books I liked, or disliked, all the while clearing out my bookshelf to make room for more. I packaged them tightly in a box and couldn't wait to give them to her.

I left town for Christmas and wasn't able to see her, so when I got home, I had a package waiting for me. Quickly upon opening it, I saw my next read, Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.

Overview of Where the Crawdads Sing

What do you do when everyone in your life walks away from the only life you've ever known?

In 1952, Kia, a six-year-old little girl, is abandoned by her family in the marsh lands of North Carolina. In a little shack hidden away from the nearest town, Kia learns to fend for herself in this coming of age where she learns the ins and outs of the marsh.

Isolated, Kia becomes known as the mysterious Marsh Girl to the judgmental townsfolks and when the most popular guy in town, Chase Andrews, winds up dead, she's the first person they set their eyes on.

The Cons of Where the Crawdads Sing

· Highly Descriptive

If you've read my past book reviews, you know I find it important to show and not tell when it comes to writing. But the first two chapters of this book go way too far into showing which makes it hard to get into the book.

When describing the surrounding environment, I don't think you need two chapters to set the mood, but instead filter those descriptions throughout the story.

· Description of Characters

The author did a great job not highlighting the importance of character's descriptions the second you meet them in the book. BUT! There was a definite afterthought of the author realizing she did not describe the looks of the main character, Kia, and threw a description of her in a random paragraph without considering if that was the appropriate spot to put was not.

· Genre of Book

Where the Crawdads Sing is considered a coming of age novel, but this does not seem like the right description. Within the story there is also a murder mystery which the entire book leads up to. I think it would have been better suited if it was categorized as such.

· The Title

Now when I say 'the title' I do not mean the title itself. In fact, I really like the title as it is an old saying meaning to get away from other people and be yourself out in the wilderness. But, for some reason the author felt like putting this in the book three times.

I find one time to be unique and connects readers to the story. The other two times seemed to be too much and clique which ruined the concept.

· Child Cruelty

This isn't necessarily a con, but I feel like this should fall within the category. In this story you will read about child abuse and neglect. If you have not experienced this in your home, which I hope you haven't, it really puts an emphasis on what takes place behind closed doors and how cruel people can really be.

The Pros of Where the Crawdads Sing

· Sheriff

In the story we come across the Sheriff of the small town investigating what he believes to be a murder of Chase Andrews. It was so refreshing to see a Sheriff not jump to conclusions and do actual sheriff work before arresting or assuming who is at fault.

This is very uncommon and often times makes the Sheriff the bad guy when in fact they are just trying to do their job.

· Highly Fascinating

The author does an amazing job keeping your interest even though Kia lives each day in the marsh by herself. Writing a character to be interesting all while alone living the same ins and outs is a difficult feat.

· Time Era

The story starts in the early 1950's which is the only time I feel this story could have really taken place. The author did a great job with historical accuracy when it comes to race and how people lived back then.

· POV's

Throughout the book you really only get Kia's or the Sheriff's point of view. Towards the end of the story, we get to see some of the other character's POVs along with how they see Kia. It was refreshing to read along with seeing how they helped her even though she might not have known it throughout the story.

Overall Review Summary

Overall, this was a great read! I found myself devouring this story over a two-day period curious what was going to happen next to the main character.

Even though the front cover isn't that interesting the title itself does the job of drawing you in. The characters are unique but also not over the top as often times seen in modern stories which is why I'm giving the novel a 4.9 out of 5 stars.

I'm so glad my friend sent me this book to read. I think it's going to be in my top 10 book reads. I find myself putting this book next to my favorites which includes Once There Were Wolves, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo where unique female leads are strong in their beliefs and find themselves involved with a murder mystery while overcoming a hindering trait. It's only taken me 30 years to find what kind of story I find myself drawn to, but I finally found it!

If you love book review and are interested in reading more, I suggest taking a look at my review for Midnight Sun, A Witch in Time, or The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue!

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