Where the Crawdads Sing
By Sarah Roach
Where the Crawdads Sing, a novel by Delia Owens and published in 2018, has been mostly well received. A Reese’s Book Club choice as well as #1 on the New York Times Bestseller list, the novel is best described as the book jacket states, “…at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder.” One would think with a description like that most readers would be enthralled, but upon reading reactions of those on social media, there are some who “just couldn’t get into it,” thought it was overhyped and unbelievable, and hated the ending because it was predictable and undermined the messaging in the rest of the book. Many just couldn’t finish it. However, those readers who liked it thought it an excellent read, kept them engaged, and “couldn’t put it down.” Some even reported that they cried at the end. Dissenters and adherents seem to be equally divided.
The movie, on the other hand, seems to have received far better reviews among the social media crowd. Those that liked the movie did so because it adhered to the book and they seemed to have liked the book, too, but many liked the movie better because of the beautiful scenery, the sounds of wildlife, the timeline, and the camera’s carefully placed lens, suggesting suspects.
I personally liked both the book, having read it first, and the movie. Owens told a good story. The setting was interesting and beautiful, the books Kia writes and illustrates are brought to life in a charming way, the characters well developed, Kia’s situation was heartbreaking and suspenseful, and the ending was surprising. The movie actually kept me guessing as to who killed Chase. Since I had read the book, I knew who did it, but the camera hinted at several people which made me second guess myself. I guess I was a little afraid the movie might have changed the ending. A friend, who accompanied me to the movie and had also read the book, was convinced Jumpin’ was the murderer.
A theme that one might want to keep in mind while reading the book or watching the movie is freedom. Any time a character has to fight for his freedom, one can be guaranteed a suspenseful ride. Kia indeed must struggle, and she does throughout the entire book, in one way or another, and it can be exhausting just wondering how in the world a young child/teenager/ woman can continue the battle. Owens allows Kia to find her freedom in the end and the reader will rejoice in the victory.
Where The Crawdads Sing is also available online on LIBBY. EBook