Part The Little Friend, part My Absolute Darling, part The Great Alone, Where the Crawdads Sing is a beautiful book that has all the best elements: romance, mystery, murder, female empowerment, and a striking setting.
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.
I adored The Goldfinch, and I started reading Tartt’s debut novel as soon as I’d finished it. But where The Goldfinch‘s Theo had some redeeming qualities and his narrative was one I couldn’t get enough of, I really struggled to stay interested in The Secret History.
This book blew me away. It has pretty much everything a reader could want in a book, from beautiful prose and romance to adventure and murder. I’m learning that entire-life-spanning tales are my cup of tea (thank you Donna Tartt, Kristin Hannah, and Lauren Groff), and The Goldfinch is exemplary in that regard.