You probably recognize this book seeing as it’s been sitting atop The New York Times best seller’s list for the past 8 bajillion years. I was hesitant to read it at first—after all the coverage and praise it’s received, I didn’t want to be disappointed.
To say I was wrong would be an understatement.
Where the Crawdads Sing is one of those rare books that makes you bawl consistently through the entirety of the book. It tells the heartbreakingly unbelievable tale of Kya, who is just seven years old when her mother (and then her entire family) leave her to fend for herself in the marshes of North Carolina. Living in isolation for the most formative years of her life, Kya adapts to her surroundings and learns to depend only on herself and the land she lives on. Without giving away too much, I will say that it’s not even the ending that’s the most tragic part—rather, it’s her entire journey.
If you haven't read this book, you've at least seen it on Instagram. (Note to self: when I write my own book someday, shell out the big bucks on cover design). Unfortunately, it wasn't my cup of tea, and I've pulled together a few thoughts to explain why.
First things first, the story was missing a few things:
Willa Drake can count on one hand the defining moments of her life: when she was eleven and her mother disappeared, being proposed to at twenty-one, the accident that would make her a widow at forty-one. At each of these moments, Willa ended up on a path laid out for her by others.
So when she receives a phone call telling her that her son’s ex-girlfriend has been shot and needs her help, she drops everything and flies across the country. The spur-of-the-moment decision to look after this woman – and her nine-year-old daughter, and her dog – will lead Willa into uncharted territory. Surrounded by new and surprising neighbours, she is plunged into the rituals that make a community and takes pleasure in the most unexpected things.
I really wasn’t planning to post about Sharp Objects; not because I didn’t love it (I did), but because once again I’m late to the bandwagon (by 12 years).
However, after watching the premier of the HBO mini-series last night, I was COMPLETELY blown away. I'm almost always disappointed by on-screen adaptations (isn't everyone?), but this series is one of those rare accurate portrayals, and I couldn't be more impressed. I have so many questions and ideas floating around in my brain that I need to get some thoughts on…
Novel [+ Episode] Thoughts:
1. Either Gillian Flynn is an alcoholic, or she is one of the most gifted writers I've had the pleasure of reading... and I don't think its the first one. Time-and-time again she writes about the struggles of substance abuse in her characters with astounding clarity and attention to detail, and I couldn't be more impressed each & every time.
Overview: Her Pretty Face opens up in an affluent suburb of Seattle, where all of the dads work at Microsoft or Amazon, and all of the moms go to Soul Cycle 3x / day. This new “domestic thriller/drama” stars Frances Metcalfe (overweight, insecure, and average) and her unlikely new BFF, Kate Randolph (beautiful, popular, and confident), brought together by their mutual hatred for the cliquey moms at school.
Now, a secret threatens to tear them apart… because one of these women isn’t who she says she is.
She’s a murderer.
Full summary can be found here.
Novel Thoughts: Beautiful cover, great name, and interesting premise. My expectations within this genre are rising—and rightfully so! We are quite literally getting flooded with new titles & authors that fall into this category of “domestic drama/thriller” every day. That being said, I found Her Pretty Face to be a completely satisfying read. Each character contributes something integral to the overarching theme, and it's written in a way that makes it easy to relate to even the nastiest of antagonists. A couple of lingering questions:
In my reviews I aim to be unbiased & steer clear of major spoiler-alerts (no promises though!)