#BookReview: Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Why are we so scared of what is different?

We judge. We shun. We shut out. We close our minds to what we don’t understand but yet we could learn so much from someone who leads a life in an unorthodox way or thinks differently than us.

Kya is the pariah of the marshes of the North Carolina Bayou. Forced to raise herself when her family leaves her alone in a shack near the bayou and she must learn the art of human survival. The entire town doesn’t rush to help her but instead believes the absolute worst of her, and outside of a fisherman’s wharf style shop near the bayou, she learns to survive one pot of grits at a time.

The plot and character cadence reminded me of a Bayou version of Little House on the Prairie at first, but unlike Laura Ingalls, Kya’s closest friends are the beachside seagulls.

My favorite aspects of this story were how the author chose to entwine nature and poetry throughout which kept me reading, along with this heart-wrenching pull in my soul to see Kya grow stronger and stronger as the pages turned.

It reads like a good murder mystery but with the strong emotive pull of poetic prose, with a love against all odds storyline thrown in. The descriptions of the marshlands were my favorite and spoke to the author’s background in Zoology and Animal Behavior.

The moral of Where The Crawdads Sing to me is not to use one aspect of someone’s identity to box them in or come to conclusions about them. There is treasure -curious humans that we are- hidden in the depths. The depths of the Bayou, the depths of a poem, and the depths of any human soul.

Sometimes you must dare to venture forth an uncharted path to find the treasures of life, even precious human life.

This review was written for no compensation and is originally written in response to the reading of Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. If you enjoyed this review, feel free to buy me a coffee.

#NationalPoetryMonth: Pulling Words by Nicholas Trandahl

The thing about reading poetry is if you already are a poet, it awakens an innate desire to take the words before you, inhale them, and exhale them into poetry regurgitated but uniquely yours.

According to Winter Goose’s site:

With Pulling Words, a collection that simply and honestly showcases the drama and quietude of life, poet Nicholas Trandahl displays written snapshots of the world he has explored and observed. He escorts readers from his childhood in rural Virginia to his troubled time as a deployed soldier in the Middle East, and from the empty beauty of Wyoming to the quaint charm of Martha’s Vineyard.

I’ve followed Nick’s poetic journey from the beginning and liked his use of nature to stick a lens into the bigger picture of life’s greatest mysteries and moments: love, being in love, marriage, pregnancy, and reminiscing childhood truths and young adult experiences that led to make the man.

Thankfully, I found out he was releasing a poetry collection just in time and rushed into the party even if I missed the hor d’oeuvres.  What follows is my take of the collection at large and some of my favorite quotes. Yet, as a poet myself, I know that reading poetry takes a few tries before the jigsaw pieces complete the puzzle :

Trandahl takes the reader down memory lane with poems about his childhood, his time serving in the Middle East, and a poem that feels like a fly on the wall during a family vacation. Nature and outdoorsy imagery is heavily used due to the poet’s love and adoration for the outdoors.

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This is my first favorite quote from the book because for me, I am most reminiscent of certain people and places when the wind hits me a certain way. The scents, the sounds, they all come rushing back, like wind carrying souls as it moves between the trees.

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With this quote, you can see the symbolism that nature provides both the poet and the reader, that life and love is reflected in the processes of nature: we sprout, we bloom, we grow, we bend, we wilt, we wither.

Please congratulate Nicholas for me by liking him on Facebook and by sharing this review fervently.