Where the Crawdads Sing

Blanche’s Book Club: ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’.

It has been an interesting week so far… My apartment complex finally got around to painting my building. They’ve been sending warning emails for months, “Your building could be washed Monday, clear balconies”… and then nothing would ever happen.

For most people in my apartment complex, this is not a big deal, but my balcony is basically another room — I’ve got a giant chair, string lights, a rug, and about a dozen potted plants.

Dragging all of it inside is only half the problem. Kitty Blanche is the other… she wants to attack and eat the plants with all her little heart! So, my living room is full of everything from my patio, while Blanche and I are locked into the other half of the apartment until the painting is finished.

The good news is, they got a decent amount of it done yesterday, so we may be in luck! The other good news is that since I’ve made an effort to cut back on social media (see Monday’s post: “What’s the Point of Social Media?”). I’ve had a really productive week getting work done, clearing out my inbox, making progress on getting my car fixed, and of course, reading!

The latest read from Blanche’s Book Club is “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. Here is the book’s description:

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.

I saw this book everywhere — online, on bookstore display tables, book roundups — for weeks before I even gave it a second thought. It wasn’t until I saw a news piece on “CBS Sunday Morning” that I felt pulled to read it.

 

I could relate on some levels to Owens’ solitary life, her interest in nature and I admired her willingness to write over the years, and put together a novel at the age of 70. She is a testament to something I tell my blogging students every semester: it’s never too late!

Just as the news clip explained, this book is a love story, a tale about life in the outdoors, and it’s a murder mystery. It’s one of those books you can just LIVE with, you know? You get comfortable with the characters and can easily picture the scenes… so much so, it begins to feel like it’s a regular part of your life, too.

Every morning she woke early, still listening for the clatter of Ma’s busy cooking. Ma’s favorite breakfast had been scrambled eggs from her own hens, ripe red tomatoes sliced, and cornbread fritters made by pouring a mixture of cornmeal, water and salt onto grease so hot the concoction bubbled up, the edges frying into crispy lace. Ma said you weren’t really frying something unless you could hear it crackling from the next room, and all her life Kaya had heard those fritters popping in grease when she woke. Smelled the blue, hot corn smoke. But now the kitchen was silent, cold, and Kaya slipped from the porch bed and stole to the lagoon.

And then it ends and you wonder why Delia Owens hasn’t written more books.

My mom and I read the book at the same time and finished it the same evening. I called her immediately to compare mental notes. We both wondered if it would be a movie… but we must have forgotten the clip from CBS that clearly says she’s sold the rights for a movie.

I think I’m noticing a trend with the books Reese Witherspoon picks for her Book Club…

I really, really enjoyed reading this book and would definitely recommend it. Even if you’re not into murder mysteries, it’s much more of a book on life and love than it is about crime.

The next book Blanche’s Book Club will be reading is “Alexander Hamilton” by Ron Chernow… buckle up for some serious American history!

For more book recommendations, be sure to subscribe to the blog (look to the right) and follow me on Instagram @Orangejulius7– where I share more of my daily life. Live in the Baton Rouge area? I’m teaching a Blogging Boot Camp this September. If you don’t live in Baton Rouge, you can always schedule a Creative Session with me!

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