Book Review: Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

where the crawdads sing delia owens book review

The synopsis on the back of the book:

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.

Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

  • Genre: Historical Fiction
  • Published: 8/14/18
  • Publisher: Penguin Random House
  • Pages: 384
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.52
where the crawdads sing by delia owens book review
She knew the years of isolation had altered her behavior until she was different from others, but it wasn’t her fault she’d been alone. Most of what she knew, she’d learned from the wild. Nature had nurtured, tutored, and protected her when no one else would.
— Delia Owens

Why I Chose This Book

The publisher sent me a copy of this book in the mail. The cover attracted me immediately but also the synopsis grabbed me - I never heard a story like it! 

First Initial Thoughts

This story goes back and forth in time from the 1950s to the late 1960s. When Kya is just 7 years old her mother leaves and never comes back. Her father is abusive towards everyone in the family. Soon her siblings leave one by one. Leaving her along with her father. At only 10 her father also leaves never to return. I couldn't imagine being 10 years old just left there to fend for yourself. That must of been traumatizing! However, Kya took it in with good stride. From a very early age, she was very intelligent. She knew the ways of the marsh and how to take care of herself- mostly because her family didn't. 

What boggled my mind is that no one in the town ever tried to help her and just pushed her to the side and mocked her. The only two people who took the time to help her was Jumpin' and Mabel - an African American couple. They helped feed and clothe her. Mabel was there for advice. I think without them, Kya would have never survived. 

Tate and Kya. First love.... They were just adorable. They kind of reminded me of Gil and Sarah from CSI: Las Vegas. Their friendship turned to love. They were both into the marsh, it's wildlife and marine life. He also taught her to read- and I found that to be commendable. 

Chris - oh Chris. I didn't like him one bit from the start. I knew he was up to no good when he met Kya. First off he wanted to have sex with her very shortly after dating. This was a big red flag. Secondly, he never wanted her to leave the marsh and meet his family or friends. Another red flag. Let's just say he had it coming when he died - or was he murdered? 

Setting

Woah, the atmosphere of this book is epic. I swear Delia lived there right with Kya. Delia was very talented in detailing everything about the marsh. She really did do her research - and it showed. I learned more about the Marsh in this book than from an ecological book! 

Sand keeps secrets better than mud.
— Kya

Final Thoughts

First off, I would have never guessed this was Delia's first book. It feels like she has been writing for a very long time. She is definitely talented! 

Secondly, this book was a little slow moving. I wouldn't recommend reading this very fast. It's a book you need to read slowly and take everything in. Also, the major points of the story take time to develop. Usually, I don't like it when the story moves slowly, however, the way Delia wrote just grabbed me. I was immersed in the story and couldn't put the book down. 

I liked that the murder mystery in the book was not the main part. Most of the book was more about Kya and her growing up in the marsh. I really enjoyed the court scenes when Kya was put on trial for Chris murder. I felt it was very accurate at that particular time. 

This was very much a coming of age story. This story also shows how we are shaped as adults by how we were raised. I honestly think Kya would have never been able to live with civilization. She never knew anything other than the marsh. 

This story also reminded me to appreciate what you have. Kya, having nothing was able to make a life for herself. She was able to become a best selling author- from her shack of all places. This was a very emotional and moving story. It will definitely be on my top favorites of the year!

Would I Recommend? 

Yes. However, I don't think it's for everyone. Like I mentioned, it is a very slow moving story and some may not like that aspect. 

 

Have you ever been to a small town in the south like Barkley Cove? We have marshes here in FL but they are not as thick as the one's I have seen in Louisiana. 

I hope you are all having a wonderful week! 

the caffeinated bibliophile

NOTE: I was sent a copy of this book to review by the publisher. All opinions are my own. 

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Bibles for Back To School

Bibles for back to school

I can't believe how fast this summer has gone. It feels like just yesterday it was the end of May. I haven't been to college for about 10 years now but I remember those days getting ready the days prior to the first day back to school. 

Bringing a Bible (preferably compact to make it easier) to school can help you get you through your day. Especially when they are challenging and stressful. I also want to mention that it's ok to read your Bible out in public -and you should encourage your children to do so. We should never be ashamed or embarrassed in expressing our faith. 

To make this post not too long I have included two age groups - High School age group and College aged groups. If you would like me to do a specific post on what Bibles to get for kids under 15 let me know! 

Bibles For High School

*Just click on the image of the Bible to be redirected to Amazon to purchase and for the synopsis/description.

In High School teens struggle with peer pressure, popularity, insecurities, etc. I remember being a teen and it was a challenging time. These Bibles will help teens with these struggles and turn to God when the going goes tough. I know I would of found these helpful! 

Bibles For College

I remember when I was in my early 20s. I was struggling to know who I was and where I fit in the world. And not only that, the pressure of societal standards of who I was suppose to be and what I was suppose to do was weighing on me also. We are still trying to find ourselves in our early 20s - particularly college. These Bibles are perfect for those that are in the ages of 18-25.  They would also make great gifts! 

 

What Bible did you have when you were in High School or College? Share in the comments! 

the caffeinated bibliophile
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Book Review: Mere Hope by Jason G. Duesing

mere hope by Jason G Duesing book review

The synopsis on the back of the book: 

How are Christians to live in such difficult times?

Unique of all people, Christians are called to embrace a hopeful outlook on life. Mere Hope offers the core, Christ-centered perspective that all Christians share, and that Christians alone have to offer a world filled with frustration, pain, and disappointment. For those in darkness, despair, and discouragement, for those in the midst of trials, suffering, and injustice, mere hope lives.

The spirit of the age is cynicism. When our leaders, our families, and our friends let us down at every turn, this isn't surprising. But we need another perspective; we need hope. Rather than reflecting resigned despair or distracted indifference, author Jason Duesing argues, our lives ought to be shaped by the gospel of Jesus—a gospel of hope. 

  • Genre: Christian Non-Fiction
  • Published: 6/2018
  • Publisher: B&H Publishing
  • Pages: 193
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.45 Stars
mere hope jason g duesing book review
I think something is going wrong with the world, and I don’t know what it is.
— Jason Duesing

Thoughts While Reading

This book addresses the issue of modern-day cynicism and how to have hope. If you are like me when I first started reading, I kind of knew what cynicism meant but not entirely. So here is a definition if you need it; cynicism is an inclination to believe that people are motivated purely by self-interest; skepticism.

In the beginning, Jason addresses the issue of cynicism and how it's being celebrated in today's society. We are mistaking it for intelligence - but in reality, it's damaging our minds. As Mohammed Fairouz stated- "it is better to be wry and distrustful than to be open and trusting". 

The book goes into 4 main sections on how to have hope. Look Down, Look In, Look Out, and Look Up. It also goes over how we can live with hope at the end. 

Look Down goes into the foundation of Hope. Where can we start to have hope? What I loved that Jason wrote was the correlation between the book Lord of the Rings and hope. It helped me understand it better. 

Look In reminds us that one day we will walk into the gates of heaven and meet Jesus face to face. We will forever be at peace. We all face troubles and are uncertain about tomorrows future, but what we can do is have that hope of reuniting with our loved ones one day. As Dom says in Fast and Furious 7 - "it's never goodbye". 

Look Out reminds us that hope is happening. When we turn on the news we think that nothing good is happening. But if we take the chance to look around we can see that good is happening. We just have to look a little harder. And we can provide hope to others by serving them. 

Look Up focuses on the purpose of hope. That hope goes beyond the world in front of us getting better - but focusing on what Jesus promises. That one day he will return to earth and there will be no more pain and suffering. We will live in eternal peace. Until that day we can live that hope. 

In hope {Abraham} believed against hope...fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.
— Romans 4:18-21

Did it relay its intended message? 

Jason Duesing had a way of writing that made it easy to understand the different parts of scripture mentioned in this book. He explained each scripture well and how it relayed to the message or meaning of that chapter. I appreciated that he gave examples of his own life experiences so that the reader can feel like they can relate. 

Would I Recommend?

Yes, I definitely think this book is great for any Christian asking the question, how can we have hope in the midst of this worlds cynicism. I think this would also be a great book for those new to Christianity. I think for the most part (at least I remember doing so) new Christians have asked the question- why does God allow bad things to happen? This book address that question- and in an easy and relatable way. 

About the Author

jason g duesing

Jason G. Duesing is vice president for Strategic Initiatives and assistant professor of Historical Theology at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. He is also a co-editor and contributor to First Freedom: The Baptist Perspective on Religious Liberty and Upon this Rock: The Baptist Understanding of the Church.

 

You can purchase the book ---> HERE

Despite of all the missfourtunes happening, how do you have hope that things will get better one day? Share in the comments! 

the caffeinated bibliophile

Note: I was provided a copy of this book by B&H Publishing to review. All opinions are my own. 

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Book Review: Thief of Corinth by Tessa Afshar

tessa afshar thief of corinth book review

The synopsis on the back of the book:

First-century Corinth is a city teeming with commerce and charm. It’s also filled with danger and corruption—the perfect setting for Ariadne’s greatest adventure.

After years spent living with her mother and oppressive grandfather in Athens, Ariadne runs away to her father’s home in Corinth, only to discover the perilous secret that destroyed his marriage: though a Greek of high birth, Galenos is the infamous thief who has been robbing the city’s corrupt of their ill-gotten gains.

Desperate to keep him safe, Ariadne risks her good name, her freedom, and the love of the man she adores to become her father’s apprentice. As her unusual athletic ability leads her into dangerous exploits, Ariadne discovers that she secretly revels in playing with fire. But when the wrong person discovers their secret, Ariadne and her father find their future—and very lives—hanging in the balance.

When they befriend a Jewish rabbi named Paul, they realize that his radical message challenges everything they’ve fought to build, yet offers something neither dared hope for.

  • Genre: Biblical Fiction
  • Published: 8/2018
  • Publisher: Tyndale
  • Pages: 368
  • Goodreads Rating: 4.69
thief of corinth by tessa afshar
How I pray that you will have spiritual strength to comprehend how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ for you.
— Paul

Why I Chose This Book

When I was asked to be part of the launch team for Tessa Afshar's latest release- of course, I said yes! I love her books! 

First Initial Thoughts

Ariadne is a young 16-year-old girl who lives with her mother and grandfather. She is brought up in an abusive home and is betrothed to a brutal man. She takes the chance to run away with her adopted brother, Theo. She runs away to Corinth to her Father who abanded them years prior. Life is good for them. Her father is well off and they live in a beautiful villa. Ariadne has a very feisty and stubborn personality. I thought of her as being quite immature for her age. To me, I was a little surprised she was 16 because I kept envisioning a 12-year-old. 

Galenos, Ariadne's father is very devoted to his children and making sure they are well taken care of. However, as I read parts of the story that he was in, I felt something was amiss with him. We soon find out he is actually a thief. He steals from the city's wealthy and their ill-gotten gains. While I don't condone stealing I felt there was a good man underneath it all. He just wanted to take care of his family but was lost in how to do that properly. 

Ariadne, she loved her father so much. She really did look up to him in the start -as any daughter does. So she soon becomes his apprentice and starts to learn how to steal. 

Setting

Tessa sure knows how to bring the reader in. She definitely does her research about the area and the history is fairly accurate. I learned new bits of history about this particular part of the world during the 1st century. I could definitely vision Corinth and Athens in my mind as I read it. It makes me want to go visit Greece now! 

Popularity can dull the senses like a drug. It can numb the heart. It robs one of truth.

Final Thoughts

What I loved about this book was that Tessa wrote it intending for anyone to read this book. Christian and Non-Christian's alike. It also read very much like a YA novel. I really appreciate it when authors write a book for a wider audience. This gives the chance for just about anyone to enjoy it! 

I also found it interesting to read a book set in Athens and Corinth during the 1st century. I have never read a book set in Athens during this time. All I knew was the Ancient Greek times in Athens so it was intriguing to read a story set in a different time.

I believe any young woman will relate to Ariadne. She grew up in a broken family - like so many do these days. She experiences the repercussions of strained and severed relationships, peer pressure, and financial struggles. I remember when I was a teenager, I thought I knew everything but inside I was screaming. I felt like no one understood me and I starved to have friends and be popular. This really is a great coming of age story. 

I think without Paul Ariadne would have never had the chance to heal from her past. She desperately needed the approval and love from her father. This book really teaches us that God loves us despite what we have done in our past. No matter the sin. With this consumerist society that we have now, we strive to have the biggest house, the latest car, big closets filled with stuff, but inside we are empty. We are lonely and starving for something. And that something is Jesus. 

Would I Recommend? 

Definitely yes! This book would be great for any age group! 

 

You can purchase the book ---> HERE

If you haven't read Tessa's books this is a great book to start with! Have you read any of her books? If so, which one has been your favorite? 

the caffeinated bibliophile

Note: I was provided a copy of this book to review by the publisher. All opinions are my own.