Book Review: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Every so often a transcendent book comes along, and I feel that Where the Crawdads is one of those. It is probably the best book I have ever read. I finished it last week, and I am still stunned.
Initially, I did not know a thing about Where the Crawdads Sing, but I did know of Delia Owens from Cry of the Kalahari, a wonderful book she wrote with her husband, Mark (they have since divorced). As a nature writer, I try to read all the natural history classics and Cry of the Kalahari was one of the better ones (and certainly one of the most hair-raising).
So without reading any reviews or commentary, I started listening to an audio version of Where the Crawdads Sing on my daily commute. I was immediately struck by the elegant natural history observations and metaphors that Ms. Owens employed. As a nature writer myself, I greatly admire such a writing style. But there was more, much more; this book drew me in like few have before; Ms. Owens deftly weaves a tale of heartache, romance, betrayal, and, well, I leave the rest up to you.
I cannot say enough good things about this masterpiece. If you are interested in lyrical nature writing, romance, and intrigue, you will love this book.
Fred loves the Westport Farmer’s Market. Throughout the market season he collects all the onions, peppers, eggplant, garlic, tomatoes and squash he can stuff in his reusable bags, and cooler. It’s the start of his weekend.
Imagine his delight when they asked him to join in the last market of 2019 to sign his books!
The change of seasons recorded in our calendars do not seem like a real reflection of what is happening in the natural world. Sure the seasons are based on the solstices and equinoxes, but this is way off.
A more realistic calendar would be made of rubber so it could stretch a bit this way and that. It would mark the end of the year as the first frost. This is when the whole insect and plant ecosystem do an abrupt, sudden about face. Spring would begin when the first wood frogs sing (mid March). Fall would start with the monarch migration and summer would be marked by…well there are too many choices there. FGT
The huge white flowers of auriculatum rhododendron are blooming. I think they smell like minty melon. Stroll through the gardens, visit the very friendly chickens and watch pottery demonstrations using unusual leaves.
Signed copies will be available during the South Coast Open Studio Tours, July 20 – 21st and August 17 – 18th, as well as theArtdrive August 9 thru 11th. Come experience some of the sites that inspired In the Wake of the Willows.
Visit SouthCoastArtists.org and theArtdrive.org for downloadable maps and driving apps.
The first printing of the first edition has sold out from our shelves and from Partner’s Village Store in Westport. There are still a few copies at Courtyards in Tiverton, Anthi’s Drawing Room in New Bedford, Titcomb’s Bookshop in East Sandwich on Cape Cod, and the Bunch of Grapes in Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard.
We expect the second printing to arrive at our house today.
Blueberries are ripening, but the catbirds, and now the waxwings, are cleaning them up before I can get to them. I still found a few and the picking was very pleasant because I was listening to the waxwings whispering to me, and enjoying the scent of swamp azaleas.
Today I cycled through some coastal pitch pine forests and discovered that it is peak swamp azalea bloom. The air was filled with the heady, perfumed scent of this azalea mingled with warm pitch pine needles and salt air. Oh what a glorious bike trip it was! For someone interested in nature, this is probably the absolute best time of year to bike…