Comparison with To Kill a Mockingbird
The mention of singing makes crawdads sound like a bird like that of mocking bird. However after, reading the book I looked up crawdads and they are actually crayfish.
Both books are set in South East America; kill a mockingbird in Albhama and crawdads in North Carolina. Both books talk about prejudices. To kill a Mockingbird centres around race. Whereas can be mistakenly led to believe Kya is black but she is not; she does face prejudices for example as ‘white trash’
I only heard about this book a few months ago but apparently it cane out in 2018 and has been highly popular. Reese Withersoom has the film rights; as it is centres around one very isolated young girl /woman perhapas even in these times of Socail distancing it will be possible to film it?
The crawdads, has a beautiful cover featuring a sunset behind water therefore I can see how it has been an appealing books in shops and if such images could be caught on film, for the movie;that would be entrancing. There are many covers for To Kill a Mockingbird but I don’t like any as much as I like the crawdads cover.
Both Kya in Crawdads and Scout in Mockingbird do not have their Mothers. Kya is left by her Mother (Ma) ages 5 with a Father who is abusing when drunk (and that is often) and older siblings. Kya does not know as a child why her Mother has left that is explained later in the book (see spoiler section for more information). Subsequently she is left by her older siblings and then her Father by the age of 7; leaving her with little food, no money in a rough and ready shack in the swamplands.Not surprisingly she feels abandoned. Or does Kya actually get more support than she realises because she feels so abandoned? It is hard to tell because the story is told in chapter long snapshots of different years of her childhood. Although it is revealed Jumpin is like a subitute Father to her.
As well as the story about Kya growing up with some romance a long the way there is also a later storyline which is interspersed with her coming of age story; a story featuring a murder. The murder story leads to a court trial and mockingbird also features a court trial.
I prefer crawdads. I find crawdads more accessible possibly because crawdads is more modern being set in the 1950s / 1960s and published in 2018 compared to mockingbird set from 1930s and published in 1960. Still I do not love crawdads as much as lots of people who was lyrical about it.
Where the Crawdads Sing is part coming-of-age story and part romance wrapped into a tale about a possible murder. It follows two timelines that slowly come together. One tracks Kya from the point when as a six-year-old, she is left abandoned, first by her mother and then gradually by her siblings. Eventually even her drunken, abusive father disappears, leaving her with little food, no money in a rough and ready shack in the swamplands.
Spoilers 🚨 (mainly aide memoire for a book club later in the year)
1. Kya’s Mother leaves due to mental illness.
2. Despite Kya’s poor start and not attending school. She is taught to read by her first lover Tate (who she eventually ends up with). She examines nature and becomes a published writer which is amazing and very Hollywood but realistic not so much? Lack of realism is a factor that limits my opinion of the book.
3. Kya is cleared of the murder of her second lover Chase. Yet the ending seems to suggest she did kill him. There is a poem which she could have just written imagining she had killed him. More damming is her having his necklace unless she found it in the mud and the investigation missed it as just looked like a shell? It is this aspect of the story that is most interesting to me. If she did commit the murder being so far away how did she do it? Was she disguised on bus journeys? Or did she travel in another way? Gave help?