?`s and ANNEswers

Ten minutes to write. Less time to read.

Marsh Girl

I just finished reading Where the Crawdads Sing, the current wunderkind of the NY Times’ Best Sellers List. It’s been listed Number One for weeks; no, months.

Bottom line: I liked it. A lot. It’s a perfect summer read. A coming of age story. A murder mystery. And many lessons about our planet’s natural resources.

At the same time, I have quibbles. The end seems made for a Hollywood movie, and I understand that Reese Witherspoon is involved in one. The two halves – called The Marsh and The Swamp – are written in two different tones. The first is luscious, rich in description of the world of Kya, the protagonist. The second is a la Grisham, as a court case evolves. There have been public complaints that these halves don’t mesh. But I say they do, given the locale of each. The first is purely natural; the second man-made.

And then there’s the twist at the end. It resolves a lot of questions but is unfair to the reader’s allegiance to Kya. I almost wish the author had left the issue of how Chase Andrews died as an ellipsis instead of a period.

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