Where the Crawdads Sing is the new “it” novel here at the Bartlett Library. Over 20 copies in one format or another and there are still holds. Wait one year and this will be on everyone’s book discussion list. So whether I wanted to or not, I knew I had to read it. And “what are they saying?” you might ask. I will answer that here, but please keep in mind that this is the opinion of others, not just myself.
First, let me set up the summary for you: The novel takes place in North Carolina along the coastal swamp. It begins in late 1969 with the town’s favorite son being found dead at the bottom of a lookout tower. Now go back to the late 1950s and you learn all about a family that lives in the marsh. And what a family this is. Drunken, abusive father, exhausted, frightened mother, and many scared children. The youngest of this brood is Kya, and it is her life that the novel centers around. So what does the death of Chase Andrews have to do with a young “Marsh Girl”? You need to read it to find out!
Now, the opinions: Most said “great writing” and the author was able to “suck you right in to the story.” Even more said “heartbreaking”, “depressing” and “sad”. Others thought it was a bit slow and a bit too detailed. Just for the record, I disagree with that. We tried thinking of some read-alikes. “Peyton Place” came to mind. Maybe re-read “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Or anything written by Barbara Kingsolver.
But there is one thing everyone agreed on – it should be read by all. The audio is particularly well done. Get yourself on the waiting list; you will get it eventually.