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Where the Crawdad Sing by Delia Owens | Book Review + Questions

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

Hello! ☀️📖😊

The month of August is coming to an end. End of summer and the start of a new year. If there's a thing you need to know about living in France is that the new year starts in September rather than in January as most other countries.

Anyways, the end of the month also means Book Club and this time we read:

Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.

Before saying anything, I just want to say that ... I cried. 😢

It took awhile for me to get into it because I had decided to start reading during our summer vacation and I was having too much fun to connect to the book. But when we went back home from our vacation, I just could not put the book down. I was definitely hooked.

So why did I cry? At some point in the end of the book, I felt this wave of sad emotions for Kya, the main character. They say that "no man is an island", but this woman might just be.

Some might say that the plot isn't realistic. I say, they haven't been through an experience where their only option was to survive. God knows how many of those I've had in my life. Truthfully, if I hadn't been the one going through it, I wouldn't have believed it. But I had to survive.

I strongly believed Kya was suffering from a trauma. Perhaps it was silent. She didn't show the signs, she didn't say the words, but it was there. After all, aren't we all suffering one way or another? Do we easily talk about it? I doubt it.

The ending gave me chills down my spine. I questioned the feelings I had towards Kya, the people around her, the town, and the marsh. I saw Kya in other faces. A cold-hearted woman who lured her victim? A scared woman saving her life? Providing herself protection and security from ill-intentioned people?

Some also say that it read like a cliché. Kya and Tate, her prince in a shining armour. They're wrong. He didn't pull her out of her misery. She did. She survived on her own. He was her after-survival. He was the sunshine after the rain, because she chose to brave that rain.

From a technical point of view, this is the author's, Delia Owens, first fiction book. Before this, she wrote non-fiction books on nature. I am glad that she was able to integrate her talent for nature writing in her non-fiction debut. The way her words described the marsh and the surroundings was so vivid that I had clear images in my mind.

I sincerely loved the book. The character's feelings totally resonated within me. At some point, I think I was seeing and experiencing the world through her eyes. And honestly, I felt a pang of sadness when I found myself turning over the last page.

Book Club Questions (some questions I found on the internet):

1. How do Kya’s observations of nature influence her understanding of the world?

2. How did you feel about Kya’s decision not to return to school? 

3. How realistic is Kya’s upbringing in the marsh? Do you believe she really could have made it out there on her own?

4.There is a palpable lack of women in Kya’s life. At the beginning of the novel, Kya’s mother leaves. Kya doesn’t have any female friendships to speak of. Would Kya’s story be different had she had women in her life? If so, how?

5. We learn towards the end of the book that Kya's mother had a breakdown after escaping the Marshes. Can you forgive her for not later rescuing the children? Why or why not? 

6. Why do you think Tate was always drawn to Kya? What did he see in her that others didn’t?

7. How did you feel about the outcome of the trial?

8. Poetry is a very important element of this novel. In fact, it’s a major point of connection for Tate and Kya. Why is poetry so significant to Tate? To Kya? What does the poetry throughout the novel add to the narrative?

9. Did the ending of the book offer the closure you wanted? Were you surprised or disappointed by the way the book ended?

10. Did you think all along Kya killed Chase? Or did you believe it was someone else?

11. Let’s talk about the ending. Were you surprised she never told the truth to Tate?

12. Why do you think she did kill Chase? Did that change your opinion of Kya?

13. Were you disappointed not to know what happened to Kya’s siblings?

14. Who would you cast in the key roles for the movie version of Where the Crawdads Sing? 

xoxo Elodie

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