Zoologist/debut author surprises with the best book I’ve read this year

Part The Little Friend, part My Absolute Darling, part The Great AloneWhere the Crawdads Sing is a beautiful book that has all the best elements: romance, mystery, murder, female empowerment, and a striking setting. 

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Tartt’s The Little Friend disappoints

Tartt expertly (as usual) weaves the tale of a young girl named Harriet whose older brother was murdered when she was a baby and she becomes determined to solve the murder. But the story’s not a mystery, despite what the first chapter would lead you to believe, and the murder is, in the end, largely an irrelevant plot point that could have been used to craft much more compelling reading.