A Southern book about white trash in eastern North Carolina – the only excuse I have for not reading this before is that it came out in 2018.
Where the Crawdads Sing
Author: Delia Owens
This book better become a movie or I will scream at every romance movie that has ever come out. I will hate Hollywood forever.
And I have no doubt it’ll happen – it’s too cheap a movie to make with too intense a storyline and a great freaking title.
Got to be one of my favorite books I’ve read this year. It’s beautifully written with amazing natural imagery, the best in-prose-fiction poem integration I’ve seen in my life, an intense and amazing set of romantic relationships, and a vivid main character. The story has two parallel plots going on, and they converge near the end of the book in a very fantastic way. Each of the major characters have their own voice, and I was able to discern them all.
Honestly, I have very little I can complain about with this book. It was beautiful, well constructed, thoughtful, empowering – my goodness, I couldn’t believe it. I could believe the author wasn’t actually from North Carolina when I read it, though, because of some misrepresentation of region and accent (found out after that she was born in Georgia, and I do believe you’d have to be Southern in some capacity to write this book). There were some issues with slang and lingo being modern instead of from the 50’s and 60’s, which is when the story takes place. But I can forgive these details easily because white trash lit is so hard to find, because the overall trajectory of the story is beyond amazing.
If you’re Southern white trash or have been at any point in your life, get off your freaking butt and read this book. If you’re looking for a book about a fantastic female character who kicks butt without being “a man with boobs,” this is a great book to look into. If you’re a naturalist or enjoy vivid imagery and chats about animals and plants, you can’t miss this one. If you enjoy romance that’s not terribly steamy (just a wee bit), this book is for you.
But, if you’re none of the above, you might not want to read this. My spouse, for instance, would never be able to “get” this book. My best friend probably would never “get” this book. But my God – my God – if you do get this book, it’s amazing. I’ve looked at several 1-star reviews since writing this one, and those people who “don’t” get it often look at minutia and call it a day. They often claim to have skipped most of it (which I don’t blame them for if they didn’t like it) due to what they considered “purple prose”. So yes, there are those who hate it. You may be one.
Perhaps being able to associate with poor Southern whites gives me the ability to love this book. Perhaps not. But for real, give this one a chance if you think it may even slightly be relevant to you.
5/5 Discoball Snowcones
Like I said in the non-spoiler review, this book had 2 converging plotlines. One takes place entirely in 1969, and the other zooms from 1952 until it catches up with the 1969 plot. It was a great decision to do so.
Why? The 1969 plotline reveals a murder case: the killing of quarterback and small-town-hero, Chase Andrews. As the sheriff and deputy investigate and find evidence implicating the main character, Kya, the other plot reveals information about who Kya is and gives both corroborating and confounding additions for the reader to consider. By the time of the trial, I was in desperate need of knowing who – if anyone – really killed Chase Andrews. Was it Kya, who resented Chase for attempted rape? Was it Tate, who resented Chase for being mean to Kya? Was it Jumpin’, Kya’s surrogate dad who would have also hated Chase for the same reason? Was it Chase’s mom or wife, who were both so ashamed that Chase had affiliated himself with white trash? Or did Chase just commit suicide?
The book does reveal all by the end, but I think even I won’t spoil that here – you’ll have to seek that out yourself. 😉
I begin September with a batch of shorter books – books you may want to read yourself if you want to start off with something easy and fun!