Where the Crawdads Sing: Review

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (Historical Fiction, Romance)

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Catherine Danielle Clark, who is known by the nicknames “Kya” and “The Marsh Girl” has been abandoned by everybody in her household and is forced to make her own way in life. She attended school for exactly one day in her life, and has kept mostly to herself and to the wildlife. Tate takes an interest to Kya early on into the story, and we later learn that Tate has been interested in Kya since before her earliest memories. In addition to following the story of Kya and Tate, the story follows multiple timelines, in which the “present day” timeline follows the probable murder of Chase Andrews.

Spoiler alert

Overall, I really didn’t like this book. I considered scrapping it a little under halfway, but since it was an audiobook I just kept listening in my car and made it through. I felt like there was a lot about the book that I just didn’t like. A lot of people told me they liked the ending, but honestly I thought it was bullshit. I liked that Kya and Tate ended up together, because that felt natural. But everything else was a shock, and in some cases I didn’t think it was relatable:

  • Kya being found not guilty for murder so quickly in a town where she wasn’t respected
  • Jumpin’, a Black man in 1960s North Carolina, being respected more than “The Marsh Girl”
  • Tate finding proof that Kya had killed Chase Andrews (and also Tate not knowing it?)
  • Kya’s death after the bald eagles came back, “for her that was enough”

None of these are things I would actually expect to happen if this were a true story, and therefore they bothered me in this work of fiction. After finishing the novel, my friend sent me an article about the author which is wild (link below). It honestly really brought things to light for me. It explained how the author could be writing about a white woman in the south who was marginalized based on her circumstance, but not to carry the same ideology over to racial minorities. It explained why the trial was so definitive so easily.

https://slate.com/culture/2019/07/delia-owens-crawdads-murder-africa.html

Ultimately, I just felt like this book wasn’t for me. I don’t think that means it isn’t a good book and not worthy of the bestseller list. I just feel like I look for things in books that this one didn’t give me.

Published by She Got The PhD

A web-based soapbox of an Assistant Professor of color in Chemical Engineering; sharing my feelings on books, academia, and current events. I hope you enjoy reading :)

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