Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owen

crawdads sing
Meeting of 2 December 2022. The book was presented by Rosie.
There is a reason that a book becomes a bestseller - people love it. It needs to be well told in an attractive style that fits the story, with a compelling plot, good characterisation, and is usually not too challenging. Crawdads fits the frame.
Delia Owens - bringing her knowledge as a zoologist - has been clever enough to build a fantasy around the basic and irresistible elements of an innocent young girl surviving alone in the wilderness, a beautiful mysterious place, authentic scientific details, romance, murder and mystery. No wonder most people loved it.
Two timelines intertwine within the setting of the swampy coastal marshland of North Carolina, which is beautifully evoked: 'The lagoon smelled of life and death at once, an organic jumbling of promise and decay. Frogs croaked.’
The few central characters are well described. The ending relates to the setting and the girl’s education within it.
In our discussion there were one or two dissenting voices in the group. Was the novel believable? Was it as good in the second half? Was the ending too formulaic? Did prejudice against its ’Southern’ content influence one’s appreciation of the book? As usual, when somebody values a book they excuse its faults, but when they don’t the faults become too glaring to be ignored.