Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is a one of those books I can’t find enough superlatives to describe. However, I can doubtlessly say that it is one of the best books I have ever read. Hyped up books are either outstanding or utterly overrated, which is why I have the tendency to avoid them (and not only books, but everything that is popular). Needless to say, I had my doubts when picking up this novel, which was sent to me by Libris and you can find here, but I was confirmed later that it is of high literary merit and worthy of being hyped up.
“…A REAL MAN IS ONE WHO CRIES WITHOUT SHAME, READS POETRY WITH HIS HEART, FEELS OPERA IN HIS SOUL…”
The novel revolves around the gut-wrenching story of a young girl surviving in North Carolina and is a marvellous ode to wilderness. While I was entirely invested in the story, as it is quite intriguing and grips the readers from the very first lines, my adoration was with Owens’ writing style, which is exquisite, to say the least. I am a sucker for detailed and long descriptions, especially when it comes to scenery and everything nature related, some might find either unnecessary or boring and this book serves my needs. Through her descriptions she manages to transpose the reader into Kya’s world and with the elegant writing paints a perfect and vivid image in the reader’s mind, which is crucial for me in order to decide a book is flawless. In fact, it felt like I was the one on the boat, in the marsh and on the beach and as if I was the one living in the 50’s Barkley Cove. Consequently, her language and writing style highly contributes to creating some beautiful portrayals of flawed characters while she manages to evoke a plethora of feelings in the reader’s heart, including sadness, fear, fury and even euphoria. If anything, the prose is so breath-taking and lyrical that a short description of autumn leaves is enough to evoke quite intimate feelings.
“Autumn leaves don’t fall; they fly. They take their time and wander on this, their only chance to soar. Reflecting sunlight, they swirled and sailed and fluttered on the wind drafts.”
Regarding the characters, some I hated some I loved, but none of them were flat characters the reader is unable to identify with or develop a certain feeling for. Each is very well rounded and flawed, real. I believe discussing in depth the characters is not necessarily important as one can only understand them if reading their story. Regardless, they are representatives of the human nature Owens honours in her novel. While an ideal portrayal of nature and characters is mandatory for an outstanding novel, one needs an appropriate plot to fit nature and characters into. The events presented are intriguing and leave one doubting…nearly everything. I am not a huge admirer of mystery novels, and I was quite hesitant regarding this side of the novel; however, this made second guess myself and every character (and not once), which only means it reached it’s purpose. Accordingly, there is a perfect harmony between the main elements – that being, language, characters and plot.
I could easily keep on writing this review, but I think I have already proved my point: Where the Crawdads Sing is a masterpiece everyone must read. Although my expectations were high, perhaps even too high, especially considering the popularity of the book, they were certainly met. Stunning would be a good word to describe the entire novel, but especially the writing style I fell in love with and will remain with me for quite some time. I have watched the film as well, but I was profoundly disappointed by it for they left out essential parts and added things that were completely unnecessary and not in the novel. They also failed to convey the emotions the book so perfectly manages to evoke. The soundtrack was nice, that I must admit, but other than that, it could’ve been an award-winning drama. Regardless, the novel is a must-read for everyone.
Title: Where the Crawdads Sing
Author: Delia Owens
Publication Date: 2022
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Format: Paperback, Movie Tie-In|480pages