Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens – Review.

About The Book

For years, rumors of the ‘Marsh Girl’ have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life – until the unthinkable happens.

My Review

Where The Crawdads Sing is described as a crime novel but I feel that the crime committed is only a small part of this novel. Instead it is tale of Kya’s relationship with nature as she goes from childhood into adulthood. And it shows she is also the victim of another type of crime. That of neglect and ignorance.

I struggle to understand why such a young child is left to fend for herself after all of her family abandon her. Her father is there for a little longer but doesn’t really do much to help. Instead she turns to her adoptive family Jumpin’ and Mabel who try their best to be there for her whilst also keeping their distance. It is her will and resolve to cope without her family that forms the basis for part one.

Initially I found it quite a slow book to read and at times I struggled to read it. Not because I didn’t like it, more that it was so different, very descriptive and at times I struggled with the local dialect. There were brief chapters that mentioned the investigation into the suspicious death but they didn’t really register. Instead I slowly became captivated by marsh life and Kya’s determination. Her friendship with Tate opened a new world to her and definitely made life a lot easier for her as she got older.

In part two the pace changes a lot and the investigation and subsequent trial takes over to some degree. You get to see more of the despicable behaviour of the more affluent and white townspeople. The attitude towards Kya and prejudice made me cringe. But there was also more evidence of those who had silently supported Kya in the background over the years.

This is a special novel, so different to everything else I have read and I expect it to be a long time before I read anything like it again. I’m sure the film will be just as wonderful.

Time to Win by Harry Brett – Blog Tour Review.

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About the Book

When local crime boss Richard Goodwin is pulled from the river by his office it looks like suicide. But as his widow Tatiana feared, Rich collected enemies like poker chips, and half of Great Yarmouth’s criminal fraternity would have had reason to kill him.
Realising how little she knows about the man she married, Tatty seeks to uncover the truth about Rich’s death and take over the reins of the family business, overseeing a waterfront casino deal Rich hoped would put Yarmouth on the map.
Out of the shadows at last, it is Tatty’s time now, and she isn’t going to let Rich’s brother, or anyone else, stand in her way. But an American has been in town asking the right people the wrong questions, more bodies turn up, along with a brutal new gang. The stakes have never been higher.
With her family to protect, and a business to run, Tatty soon learns that power comes with a price . .

My Review

One of the first things that occurred to me when reading Time to Win was how the tourist board connected to Great Yarmouth would feel seeing how the area was portrayed in the novel. However, after visiting numerous UK seaside resorts out of season I feel that it is probably accurate.
I often wonder which type of character an author finds harder to create. The ones that the reader will love or the ones they will hate. Most of the characters who feature are unpleasant, although Tatty and Frank did grow on me as I read more.
Rich only appears in the prologue so you don’t really get to know him. The only member of his family who seemed to mourn him was Sam even though she too ridiculed him along with her siblings. They are a family who are capable of anything. They are feared but not everybody they try and control give in to their demands. Ben and Sam are more distant from the criminal activities that occur but they have been groomed for the future. They do feel the financial benefits though. Zach is probably just like his father and one of the more unlikeable characters in the novel.
It’s definitely part of a series, not many issues have been resolved by the end of the book. This reader wants to know more about Frank and Tatty, especially her past. I feel there is a lot more to learn about nearly everybody who featured.

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received.

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