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RCM Virtual Book Club: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

RCM Virtual Book Club: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

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Here at RCM, we love books. We also love any opportunity participate in an awesome book club. So we decided to smoosh the two together and create the virtual Rocket City Mom Book Club! More info about our next title is below, and you can request to join the conversation here. Happy reading!

Like A Man Called Ove, I had successfully avoided all the hype and the controversy that surrounded Delia Owens and her debut novel, Where the Crawdads Sing. But like A Man Called Ove, through the democratic process, it was deemed our next pick and I reluctantly picked it up.

I am ashamed to confess the reason behind my very strong aversion to this book. If you haven’t seen a photo of me yet or read any of my posts, you may not be aware that my ethnicity is African American. And one thing that I do not like to read for pleasure is the stories of poor and disenfranchised, especially black people. I understand the necessity of these stories to be told, but I am all too familiar with a lot of these stories, and reading them for fun is not something that I like to do. So, I confess that I didn’t want to read Where the Crawdads Sing because I believed that this was the story of another poor black girl.

And it’s not. It could be, easily, but it’s not. And that realization (that I made at least a third of the way through the book) changed my whole perspective.

The past few RCM picks, especially I Miss You When I Blink, have reinforced this idea of how my perspective influences my opinion of a book or a story. And this perspective seems to change as frequently as the ocean tides. It’s not just my ethnic and socioeconomic background that I bring with me into a story, it’s the mood I am in or what has happened to my family that week or month or year. Am I exhausted from the angst of the Buddy Man’s oral surgery and haven’t slept in what seems like days? Have the “winter blues” caught up with me and somber story is that last thing that I want to read?

I am also a part of the Modern Mrs. Darcy Book Club, and it is funny how I seem to easily spot how someone else’s perspective is, in my opinion, tainting their opinion of a story that I love. But I have a hard time seeing the same in my own reading life. I dare say, that we all have this problem. But books and stories help us widen our perspective, so that we take in more of the world, better understanding ourselves and each other.

Once I realized, shamefully, that my main reason for not wanting to read this book no longer existed, I plunged into it wholeheartedly. Delia Owens did a masterful job of setting the scene and I found myself lost in part of the Carolinas (I grew up in Charlotte) that I never knew existed.

This book was so much more than a who-dun-it story. It’s a story about how we humans, mistreat “others” – those that are not like us. It is a story about love – the love of the land, as well as, the love between people. I am so glad that I read it.

I know that I will read it again.

And spoiler alert ahead, I was so glad for the “happy(ish)” ending. I don’t think I could have borne it, if it hadn’t ended that way.

I look forward to discussing it with all of you on Thursday, January 23, 2020 at 8:30 PM CST on Facebook. Special thanks to our book club sponsor, The Snail on the Wall. Pick up a copy of our next pick, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.

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