Genre: fiction, mystery, bildungsroman
Key Stage: Year 10+ (contains mature content including violence, child neglect and abandonment)
Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens (2018)
Plot: I read this after it was recommended to me by a Year 9 student, who said it was beautiful but made you want to cry. I couldn’t agree more. The story follows a young girl who lives in the marshes as she navigates the challenges and beauty of growing up, the natural world and love.
Positives: I loved the descriptions of nature within this book, which spoke to the author’s previous experience as a nature writer. They were entrancing and provided real escapism and moments of beauty even while the plot kept you on the edge of your seat.
Negatives: Some moments of violence towards women that are unsettling. Definitely worth knowing this beforehand.
If you like this, you might like: The Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell for the nature writing, Sweet Bird of Youth by Tennessee Williams for the bittersweet combination of violence and love all the while imbued by a certain lyricism, How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff, The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivy, The Morning Gift by Eva Ibbotson, Stop The Train by Geraldine McCaughren.
Reviewer: Ms Fox