Confessions of a Bibliophile

Of Crawdads, Marsh Life and of course Love

Thanks to Owen’s high-caliber prose, a captivating storyline and a highly valued recommendation from a friend of mine, I stuck it out and finally finished reading “Where the Crawdads Sing” after a year void of so many things, including books and reading time. 

I started this book with high hopes after my bibliophile friend rated it a “Must Read” and me realising that the author was the same Delia Owens who wrote “Cry of the Kalahari” which I read while working in that very “Kalahari” during my years as a safari guide. 

Photo credit: Merwelene van der Merwe et al

I have fond memories of reading “Cry of the Kalahari” while listening to the very sounds Owens was describing in her book, and visiting the Owens’ campsite they made their home during their time here.

This year though, took its toll on my reading time. Whenever I had a moment to catch my breath, I didn’t feel like diving into this complex story of a far away place, trying to remember what had happened in the previous pages of this book that was collecting dust on my bedside table.

Finally, as the oh-so-long-longed-for year-end break arrived, I picked up this book again. Back in the right frame of mind, it took no time for Owens to sweep me up with her rich prose, delicate and detailed descriptions of a mesmerizing far-away world of foreign creatures, days gone by and captivating characters.

I’m glad I stuck it out. 

After I got past the first half of the book which seemed very slow for me and kept me wondering why it came so highly recommended, the places and characters stuck with me. Looking back on the full story, I am happy to confess that I thoroughly enjoyed the read and got completely engulfed by Kya and her life. 

I assume that the many gaps in my time with this book are the reason why I am not completely blown away by it because it actually has all the ingredients that make it unputdownable.

The story takes you on a myriad of twists and turns reflecting the waterways of the marshland it takes place in, and the multi-layered storyline keeps you wondering til the end.

As I was nearing the end of the story I suddenly had to think of the scientist Veronica Roodt. She lives a very secluded life in Botswana’s Okavango Delta and is an expert second-to-none on the area. She has published a number of maps and books with her own drawings about the mammals, trees and grasses of the Okavango Delta which, in my time there, were considered indispensable in every safari-guide’s library. 


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