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GROUP READS > October FICTION selection WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING

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message 1: by Anita (new)

Anita Fajita Pita (anitafajitapitareada) | 384 comments Mod
This month we will be reading Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.

It looks like many members have already read this one, I hope you will join us with a re-read or just drop some comments and insights as we go along. Tbh, this is one that I've been hesitant to read because of all of the celebrity hype surrounding it. If anyone else has been putting it off, now is your chance to read it with The F-Word.

Who has read this and who will be reading it with us this month? I look forward to hearing your thoughts, members.


message 2: by Anita (last edited Oct 03, 2020 12:03PM) (new)

Anita Fajita Pita (anitafajitapitareada) | 384 comments Mod
I've got to admit that I'm really drawn into Kya's story and will probably finish it pretty quickly. It's hard to put down.

Kya's life - I can't say 'upbringing' - seems so hard and yet she just innocently makes the best of it. It made me pause to think of the differences within our own culture (granted this is the 60's) that the idea of government education is seen as a barrier rather than a gift as she dodges class and truant officers, as well as her surrounding community in general.

Mostly I really like Kya as a character. Even with whatever demographic handicaps she has, she still manages to make the best of her life and continues to grow throughout. It's very easy to get caught up in her story, like I said, and the passing of years is subtle but constant. She has a lot of agency, even considering that she is essentially a girl alone.


message 3: by Honore (new)

Honore | 78 comments I wish I could read this with the group this month, but I have a hefty reading list for my African American Literature class. Looking forward to checkin' in and seeing what people think!


message 4: by Paige (new)

Paige | 7 comments Agreed, I've been super hesitant despite the raving reviews from family/friends/IG influencers alike but the consensus seems to be a pretty cathartic and addicting story.


message 5: by CD (new)

CD  | 105 comments My 'real world' book club selected this to read in March of 2019. We enjoyed it!

This is not at all what it appears early on in the story. I had a very different impression in the first quarter of the book than I'd finish with this work. It's not just swamp girl and her boat by any means!

Anita makes some interesting points about education and mentions the main characters agency and I'd add this is best expressed as her overall self motivation and drive.

That this book has a story and is well constructed unlike so many new books that wander off into some realm of self reflection and impenetrable technique make this one a good read. I like the element of the twist at the end. I'm a sucker for that in an equally well done book.

Now if the movie just doesn't screw it up, and I'll go see it, then great. I'll add more later as others have read further.


message 6: by Natasha (new)

Natasha Holme (natashaholme) | 295 comments I was put off by the title for a long time. When I did come to read it, I found the story gripping and the prose beautiful. Loved how much oomph Kya put into her challenging life of rejection by family and townsfolk.


message 7: by Anita (last edited Oct 08, 2020 12:43PM) (new)

Anita Fajita Pita (anitafajitapitareada) | 384 comments Mod
CD wrote: "My 'real world' book club selected this to read in March of 2019. We enjoyed it!

This is not at all what it appears early on in the story. I had a very different impression in the first quarter o..."

I completely agree that my experience with this book shifted as I read. I commented in my review that it almost felt like two different stories (maybe genre is a better word) about the same character, though seamlessly blended. The two halves were equally rivetting but in completely different ways. Going in with a "for fans of Barbara Kingsolver," I was enjoying learning about Kya and her connection to her land and living her life, and shifting in the second half to feeling the suspense and thrills of a courtroom drama.

Very glad to have read it, sheepishly admitting I pushed it off as a hype book for so long. It makes me wonder what else I'm missing out on from celebrity reading lists. (Anyone want to recommend any that really are good and not just hype?)

*I didn't know this was being made into a movie! Thanks for the heads up CD


message 8: by Anita (last edited Oct 08, 2020 12:43PM) (new)

Anita Fajita Pita (anitafajitapitareada) | 384 comments Mod
These questions/observations are only for people who have finished the book. Please let's use spoiler tags for now.

(view spoiler)

I'd love to hear your feminist lens questions and observations about this book and its characters.


message 9: by Natasha (new)

Natasha Holme (natashaholme) | 295 comments Anita, am replying to you within spoiler tags!
(view spoiler)


message 10: by Anita (new)

Anita Fajita Pita (anitafajitapitareada) | 384 comments Mod
Natasha wrote: "Anita, am replying to you within spoiler tags!.."

That's a great point Natasha and I agree that that fits her personality, especially the fact that she's raised herself all along.


message 11: by Eric (last edited Oct 10, 2020 03:59PM) (new)

Eric Lotke | 9 comments Hello, F-folks. I'm new around here. I post as an experiment. Have a nice day.

I liked a lot about this book. The swamp environment is interesting, educational and a nice place to spend time. The best is the main character, Kya, who is bold, vulnerable, fascinating and appealing in oh-so-many ways.

So why only two stars? One boy character is a perfect (too perfect?) ray of sunshine. The other boy character is an implausible mix of stereotypically nasty and unexpectedly nice – but not in a way that makes him complex, nuanced or fully-realized. Rather, he seems to be whatever suits the author’s purpose at that time.

I lost interest. I needed more plot. “Which boy will she choose” is an insult to Kya. The murder trial fit like a fish out of water. As someone who’s published a book or two I couldn’t quite swallow the leap from “I’ll show my publisher a sample” to a finished first edition surprising her in the mail 15 pages later. Trivial fact-problems like that tested my confidence about what I think I’m learning about the swamps.

Simple edits and fewer pages would have made it better. As it is, I rate it, “Okay, sure, fine.”


message 12: by Anita (last edited Oct 10, 2020 06:28PM) (new)

Anita Fajita Pita (anitafajitapitareada) | 384 comments Mod
Eric wrote: "Hello, F-folks. I'm new around here. I post as an experiment. Have a nice day.

I liked a lot about this book. The swamp environment is interesting, educational and a nice place to spend time. The..."


What's interesting about your comment is that this is the type of argument I often see women complain about female characters when written by men, it was definitely eye opening to read your perspective, so thanks for sharing your thoughts.

I didn't think that Tate was perfect, I personally found him to have a weak character and his choices were easily shaped by the opinions of his community - remember he didn't commit to Kya because he didn't think she would fit into his world. I agree that Chase was easily the negative things you claimed.
I didn't see Kya as choosing between one or the other, I thought her story was very much self sufficient and the romantic tension of the story was that she had a hard time trusting anyone enough to be vulnerable with either of them.
In the end, I think Chase reminded her of the worst parts of her mother and father's relationship, and the one thing I did like about Tate was that he advocated for Kya to take care of herself. He offered her professional contacts and opportunities but left it up to her to do her own work.
I also noted the shifting perspective she had of her own mother as the story progressed, and appreciated that as well.

It's also interesting that you raise the question of whether you can trust the information about the swamp environment as the author is a naturalist, and I would hope that the environmental and habitat portions of the book would be where she was most meticulous. One would hope, but who knows.


message 13: by Storm (new)

Storm (stormgerlock) | 7 comments I just finished the book and overall I really enjoyed it. I found Kya to be an amazing character and I loved the details about the Marsh.

Below I'm going to put some spoiler comments:

(view spoiler)


message 14: by Eric (last edited Oct 11, 2020 06:19AM) (new)

Eric Lotke | 9 comments Anita wrote: "Eric wrote: "Hello, F-folks. I'm new around here. I post as an experiment. Have a nice day.

I liked a lot about this book. The swamp environment is interesting, educational and a nice place to sp..."


How interesting to engage like this online. It’s new to me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. If I may:

Tate wasn’t a perfect person but his engagement and approach to Kya was. Pretty amazing, in a heartwarming and wonderful way. I hope to be that nice someday. (I was taking notes).

Our main point of disagreement is about Kya’s self-sufficiency v. choosing which boy. To be clear, I didn’t mean to impugn her self-sufficiency. The weakness was in me, the reader who wanted more plot. I mentioned that I started to lose interest. I loved Kya and loved the place. But one thing that keeps readers going is wondering how will it turn out. Again I found the murder trial out of place. “Which boy” was the main unanswered question.

I’m happy to be reassured that fact-problems about other matters shouldn’t make me doubt the author credentials or the facts of the marsh. Indeed, I want to call attention not only to the wonderful naturalism – but also to the history and culture of the marsh settlements going back through the generations. That was interesting and educational -- with the extra bonus of a major plot consequence about Kya's personal land. I should probably give it another star just for the artistry of that connection.


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