Listening to the Crawdads Sing Above the Panic

(My reading room will be my retreat during this pandemic.)

Like many of you out there, I am anxious and quite nervous about what we will face as a nation in the next couple of months. Now is the time to definitely gather what we need. By this time, hopefully you all got enough medicine and food to last for the next few weeks. Although I fully understand the severity of the situation, I have to be honest and admit that I felt extreme melancholy following the Smithsonian’s wise decision to close all of their museums. When the governor of Maryland implemented an executive order closing all of the gyms I just knew I was going to go crazy consumed with cabin fever. I was also reckoning with the fact that I was going to have to keep my five year old entertained for at least the next couple of weeks. Yet, these small hiccups are nothing compared to the many blessings that surround my situation. Thus far my family is healthy and I have a job that will still pay me while we are home.To help keep my mind in a zen state, I plan on spending the few quite minutes I will have in my reading room. It was the first room I personally renovated when we moved into our 100 year old house. As soon as I saw it, I loudly proclaimed it “Mine” and informed all that it would be mine despite any future additions that would one day be added to my family. .

This week’s book will keep me company in my reading room and help get my mind off of the uncertainty outside. It came highly recommended by my sister and close friend. They both had one sole complaint and that was that it eventually had to end. Where the Crawdad’s Sing by Delia Owens is a book about Kya, known to many as “The Marsh Girl.” She lives in the backwoods secluded swamps of North Carolina in the 1960’s. Although there are many wild tales running through the town as to how she came to live such a secluded life, in actuality, she was abandoned by every member of her family who was driven away by her abusive and alcoholic father. Despite all the odds and the constant evasion of the local truant and child and welfare officer, she with the help of the ecological wonders of the swamp raises herself. She lives a simplistic and meager life without electricity and running water. There are many times where she is unsure where her next meal will come from and depends upon a local African American gas station attendant for hand me down clothing, sometimes food, and fatherly comfort. Her life of solitude; however, is interrupted when she meets two young men who both are intrigued by her and seek her company to fill an inner yearning and emptiness that haunt them both. The book opens with the death of one of the suitors with Kya as the main suspect. The book jumps back through time as the readers work to unravel this coming of age, love, and tale of who done it.

I am half way through. The author’s careful depiction of life in Kya’s world has me once again homesick for Florida. I keep envisioning my rides through the Everglades, specifically Shark Valley. It is a 14 mile bike trail right through the Everglades where you come face to face with alligators. It’s really cool and worth a visit if you are ever in South Florida. Speak to you soon! Be safe and we will get through this πŸ™‚

4 thoughts on “Listening to the Crawdads Sing Above the Panic”

  1. Loved the Crawdads, such a great character, so unique, the way she is depicted like prey, always so cautious around humans, never having known the safety of family or an accepting community.
    I was lamenting what to read next until a friend reminded me on Kindred by Octavia Butler, so I’m into that now, and it’s equally riveting.
    All the best with this period of quiet, I find there are gifts in it, an ability to spend more time on creative projects that usually don’t get prioritized, and walking around my residence seeing people who aren’t usually at home, taking pleasure in my flowers, the birdsong, just practicing gratitude I guess.
    South Florida looks interesting!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Alysha,

    I finished Kindred and thought it was amazing. It reminded me a lot of Andrea Levy’s Long Song, except that Levy’s characters were all of that era and it was in Jamaica, not America, so she injected the strong feelings into her characters of the time, since there is little or no record of people’s feelings at that time, (from what I read of her interviews) she gave them that.

    Butler’s characters are different, and she seemed to demonstrate that even Dana character, a modern woman from the 1970’s, found herself changing due to the regime of slavery, against her principles, but due to the danger. I found this very thought-provoking, and I think she shows that when we live in fear, the very brave are few and far between. But thank goodness they exist, for what humanity continues to show itself capable of when unchecked by society is frightening.

    If you are interested in reading my review, I’ll leave you a link here:

    Kindred by Octavia Butler reviewed by Claire at Word by Word

    Have you read The Book of Harlan by Bernice McFadden, or any other of her works? I might read that next, especially as it has a French connection and is inspired by her ancestors stories.


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