Review of Delia Owens' "Where the Crawdads Sing"
Updated: Feb 24
Reese Witherspoon picked Where the Crawdads Sing for her book club and because I trust her as much as I trust Dolly Parton-I knew I just had to read it. Throughout the story, our heroine, Kya, transforms from frightened little girl into a tough as nails female Bear Grylls. The book bounces back-and-forth in time between solving a murder and the story of Kya's upbringing. As I consider myself an esteemed detective, I loved the murder plot to the story. Such suspense. I was in a tizzy the entire time I read the book and am really hoping Reese will help bring it to film. Below you'll find my reactions to the book as well as my movie casting suggestions for your entertainment...enjoy!
You'll need to prepare yourself to feel heart sick for the first part of the book. Dang. Our leading lady was abandoned over and over so many times before she was just 7 years old. She led such an isolated life. She related to others by comparing behaviors to what she observed in nature or read in science books. (Side bar: did anyone else think of Cady Heron from Mean Girls comparing females at the shopping mall to a watering hole in Africa? lol!)
As is true of most Oklahoma girls, I have gone on my share of wildlife walks, hikes, field trips what have you... Martin Nature Park was a staple of my childhood. However, our author's outdoor savviness is unreal and more detailed than I ever would have imagined. We practically know how to get around the marsh now right? Well, maybe just to Jumpin's place.
Note: I must say, there is a chapter or two that will leave you blushing. And hopefully not saying to yourself, "wow Courtney suggested this saucy book". Just toast to our ever descriptive author and move along. Don't want to leave you in the ole' recommendation equals awkward movie watching with your grandma type situation.
Overall, the book is beautiful. It made me think of how I would describe my home. What noises, smells and emotions are tied to where I am most at ease. Our author's descriptors of nature and Kya's adventures are FABulous. Pumpkin candles, soft lighting, Kennedy's sound machine along with John Mayer on my Alexa while the last load of laundry is drying...leggings, fresh sheets, giant chocolate lab, a mini me and a cute doctor... my version of crawdads, gulls, feathers, shells and Spanish moss. Home is where the heart is ya'll...
Where the Crawdads Sing vs. Tara Westover's Educated
I was told before starting this book that it held stark similarities with Tara Westover's "Educated" book. If you haven't had a chance to peak at my review of that book, you can find it here. The stories are totally different--mountains of Idaho vs. marsh land in North Carolina. However, both books give a shocking account of female characters who grew up in seemingly impossible situations. Both books remind us of the treasure that is education and the endurance of the human spirit.
Favorite Parts of Where the Crawdads Sing
I usually don't straight up quote the books I review in such detail; however, the below paragraph was so powerful. To a 1970 murder trial and to so many situations today...
The closing remarks by Tom Milton, "We called her the Marsh Girl. Many still call her that. Some people whispered that she was part wolf or the missing link between ape and man. That her eyes glowed in the dark. Yes in reality, she was only an abandoned child, a little girl surviving on her own in a swamp, hungry and cold, but we didn't help her. Except for one of her only friends', Jumpin', not one of our churches or community groups offered her food and clothes. Instead we labeled and rejected her because we thought she was different. But, Ladies and gentlemen, did we exclude Miss Clark because she was different, or was she different because we excluded her? If we had taken her in as one of our own-I think that is what she would be today"
Tate's love for Kya. How he protected her even before she knew him... the sweetest.
After Tate has taught Kya to read, she finally discovered the names of her siblings embossed on each of their left behind Bibles. This part had me crying like a baby.
As far as the ending goes. It was killer. The moment I read the final poem, I knew.
Where the Crawdads Sing Movie
Casting for the film according to me...they're going to need a whale of a budget for this... but we may as well go big for this assignment right? Just for fun, who would y0u choose for the characters?
Kya Clark- Daisy Ridley, we all saw her as a kick butt Jedi in Star Wars, she would be fabulous here!
Jake Clark (Kya's Dad)-Mathew McConaughey
Tate Walker-Andrew Garfield
Chase Andrews-Liam Hemsworth (yes it had to be a Hemsworth or surely our Kya wouldn't have believed his nonsense, right?!)
Sarah Singletary, Grocery Store Checkout Clerk-Elizabeth Banks
Mrs. Culpepper, Truant Officer (State employee in charge of ensuring she goes to school)-Sally Field
Eric Chastain, Prosecuting Attorney-Jeremy Renner
Mr. Tom Milton, Kya's Attorney-Robert Downey, Jr.
Robert Foster, Kya's publisher-Ty Burrell
Scupper (Tate's Dad)-Jon Hamm
Jodie Clark-Paul Rudd
Sherriff Ed Jackson -George Clooney
Okay, how did I do for my "movie casting" of Where the Crawdads Sing? Who would you choose?
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