Book Review – Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

For 2020, part of my “reset” is to read a decent (i.e. interesting, thought provoking) book a week. Any links will be non-affiliate, as always, and any thoughts are my own. If you’ve got a recommend, send it my way!

crawdads.jpgBLURB: For years, rumours 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.

MY THOUGHTS: This is one that got a lot of hype when it first released, and was on several influencer’s book lists, including Reese Whitherspoon and my fav, Ali Edwards. I should have read it then, but last year I was going for escapism and easy reads. There are some unrealistic aspects to this tale but it is beautifully written and the characters are well thought out and come alive on the page. I was gripped during the middle portion and blown away at the end – it wasn’t what I expected. 5 stars.

If you are thinking about picking this one up, Amazon have an extract on their US page HERE:

WIP Wednesday #263

Hello everyone! Another week down, and as I write this, only a few more working days until a decent break. I need it; I nearly ripped my boss a new one Monday. Twice. Eep.

Last night we went to 7 Days Live. 7 Days is a weekly panel show of comedians who take the mick out of the current events but because this wasn’t a filming episode, there were no holds barred (I’ve been at a previous live show where the stage director came screaming onto the floor as Legal were vetoing one line of piss-taking). The opening half was individual stand-up and I was crying with laughter. My cheeks still hurt this morning!

Stitching wise I kept to the homework prompts. I managed a couple of EC credits but I am really looking forward to not being part of a SAL in 2020, and getting some finishes under my belt. I’ve changed my mind a few times about what my focus next year will be, and I really want a Teresa Wentzler finish – which means the border in Tapestry Cat and the last few hundred stitches in the cat. That’s also my oldest WIP, as it was my Christmas present to myself in December 2006. I think I might work in Big WIP/small WIP weekly rotation…oh goodness only knows. The “screaming” rotation doesn’t work for me, as sometimes what is screaming is a new start and I need one of those like a hole in the head.

Anyways, have a lovely week, don’t get too stressed about Christmas day activities, enjoy some time away from work pressures and I’ll talk to you sometime over the break. Here’s a “summer” shot for you – Mase the Ace enjoying a swim in the pouring rain yesterday afternoon. Kids!

Book Review – A Madness of Sunshine by Nalini Singh

madness.jpgBLURB: On the rugged West Coast of New Zealand, Golden Cove is more than just a town where people live. The adults are more than neighbors; the children, more than schoolmates.

That is until one fateful summer—and several vanished bodies—shatters the trust holding Golden Cove together. All that’s left are whispers behind closed doors, broken friendships, and a silent agreement not to look back. But they can’t run from the past forever.

Eight years later, a beautiful young woman disappears without a trace, and the residents of Golden Cove wonder if their home shelters something far more dangerous than an unforgiving landscape.

It’s not long before the dark past collides with the haunting present and deadly secrets come to light.

MY THOUGHTS: Nalini has been a must-buy for me for a while now, with the exception of her Archangel series. When she revealed that she was moving into a suspense genre, I was pumped to read it and pre-ordered as soon as it was available (note Nalini, I STILL hate a Tuesday release. Especially when I couldn’t take the day off. Please talk to your publishers about that one!).

Initially my thoughts were that the overall format was like a Nora Roberts suspense (thinking of 2016’s The Obsession) but there are solid reasons for picking this one up over a recent Nora. It’s well-crafted and the characters are more than one dimensional right from the start. I loved the pacing and flow, and at no point did I think this was either rushing me or wasting my time.

There’s several possibilities as to whom the killer is, and each one is very plausible. There’s other spooky stuff going on in the background – alcohol, abuse, lying – all the things you find in any community. I’ve read one review which was indignant that Singh didn’t re-phrase this book in “woke” terminology and had everyone learn from their mistakes – oh whatever. We all know someone who relies upon other’s view of themselves as gospel. We all know someone who has p*ssed their life away for whatever reason and is angry about it, but doesn’t change. We all know someone who relies on an artificial product (alcohol, drugs, shopping, gossip) to bleed away any pain they might have. We all know someone who focuses on a trait & choses partners based on that, be it physical or emotional. And that makes the characters real, IMO.

This gets a solid 4.5 stars from me & I’ll be buying copies for Christmas presents. Can’t get much better than that!

AUTHOR SITE: https://nalinisingh.blogspot.com/

WIP Wednesday #262

Hello everyone! Can you believe it? I’m not only posting on a Wednesday, but I am living up to the “scrap” part of my name. Hallelujah for a creative pulse!I mapped out a very simple template in my notebook and when push came to shove, actually used it. And used part of my growing Ali Edwards stash. AND pushed past that “it has to be perfect” mantra that I so often am crippled by. Super happy that I got our short Sydney trip journalled.Yes! We went to Sydney. Just Si and I, and our plans to catch up with some friends and lots of shopping and exploring. It was a much needed break from reality and allowed us to refresh from day-to-day stress and come back to the family a little bit happier. Well, I am… we crammed a lot of shopping in, with two Costco visits (cannot wait until it opens here in Auckland! My fav purchase is the Ott Lite now gracing my stitching table), Sydney Tools (even I could have cut loose with their Makita selection, let alone other stuff), Target (I like that I can buy some clothes for work that no-one else will be wearing) and other places, but the best customer service came from Peter Wynn’s Sports Score in the main street of Parramatta. We’d been there before, but this time we got talking (eep) and got a perfect something for each of the boys. On Saturday Anne (feather stitching) took me to her stitch group meeting out in Bligh Park & I enjoyed the fellowship & meeting Judy in person. It was a hysterical ride home (until we hit, literally, Judy’s drive).Stitching wise I have done the bare minimum. Fairy Tales got a few strands in while we were away (airplane cattle class is not conducive to stitching) and there’s been so much going on at home/work. I may be behind the scenes in the retail group that I work for, but Labour Weekend thru to New Years is a long silly season.Last week was Year 7 Week 4 and about the horcruxes. Because there were 3 people to share the load of the horcrux, we had to stitch 100 on each of 3 WIPs – so Shakespeare’s Fairies, Home of a Needleworker and the Mill Hill Celestial sleighs each got 100. Then for a bonus 1 point per 100, we could chose one of those WIPs and keep going – I chose to forgo extra points and complete the Celestial Sleighs. So that’s two more ornies finished before Christmas!This week is W5 and about Travel. We have to do 100 on 4 tasks and I’ve managed to get Fairy Idyll to fit 3 of those and knocked off 150 stitches last night. My other piece has to match a Freshwater Plimpy (don’t ask) so I’ll start to bead my Mermaid of Atlantis.Anyway, must go back to work mode now. Have a great week!

November WIPocalypse

Hello everyone! I hope you’re well. WIPocalypse is the monthly check-in SAL hosted by Measi on her blog, and via the Facebook group – we welcome all enablers! Click on the icon to the right to learn more.

November Goals:

  • Keep up with weekly #magicalstitches homework
  • Finish some CF or Mill Hill pieces

I managed to keep up with both of the above – 4 Mill Hill finishes (two each of the Celestial Sleigh and Pumpkin Carriage) and four Cloudsfactory items for Aurora’s parcel – Prince Eric, Oliver, Rapunzel & Ursula. All the weekly homework was done, some to the bare minimum, and I got one Extra Credit in. I’ve completely slowed down with regards to stitching.

December Goals:

  • Keep up with weekly #magicalstitches homework
  • Plan January WIPs
  • No Spend!

November Question: What new stitches or techniques did you learn this year? The short answer is – nothing. I didn’t take any class or attempt embroidery or anything else. A crochet class or at least the embroidery refresher at Liz’s is on my wish list for 2020, but I wasn’t in the headspace to try anything new this year.

Stitch From Stash: I am so far in the red I won’t be climbing out this year. Even with a gift from Mum specifically for my stash budget, I have overspent on Miras and fabric that I may not even touch next year, & I’m a little horrified at myself. I have seven FO’s, but they are all relatively small. At least it’s only stash I have spent my feelings on this year, and not all the other things like previous years. Overall, fiscally I’m in better shape than previous.

WIP Wednesday #261

Hello everyone! I am well overdue posting an update & apologies if you missed me! My focus was mostly on home life, as we had our family Christmas a week last Sunday and now, in a really bad way, I feel that I have reached the end of my purpose in a lot of ways. I am not interested in much, and feel in limbo. I’m hoping that after we get some time away to reset and recharge this weekend, I can re-spark and sort my sh*t out.Stitching wise I am not quite keeping up with the weekly homework. I did 4/5 tasks in the first week, three in the second, and five in the third. I have got nearly 300 in on this week’s task, which is only 500 – very small compared to some weeks of 1200+. Nothing on the extra credit side, altho I did FFO two ornaments (one for Mum, one for Sharon). I have brought more charts (go on, pretend you’re surprised!) and made some plans for next year.Work-wise there is a lot going on, with a co-worker having been away for a month. Arg! Plus it’s coming up into the silly season (at least I can be smug that I have done my Christmas shopping) so that’s an extra layer. I admit I messaged T to make sure he was getting on a plane & coming back! I now have some assistance too, thank you Lord, and I’ve managed to cut most of the loose ends up there. This is already making me feel better.