Book Reviews, Discussion Guides, and Wine-Book Pairings
“Call no man happy until he is dead. Herodotus.” Mr. Nancy raised a white eyebrow, and he said, “I’m not dead yet, and, mostly because I’m not dead yet, I’m happy as a clamboy.” “The Herodotus thing. It doesn’t mean that the dead are happy,” said Shadow. “It means that you can’t judge the shape of someone’s life until it’s over and done.”
Crawdads is primarily this: a depiction of life lived on one’s own terms. And in that way, it is very well done. Kya’s story prompts the reader to ask big questions. For example, questions about the interactions of economic disparities and race, the trade-offs between living on your own terms and living in dangerous isolation, the merits of formal education versus an education through experience with the natural world, and how the pursuit of a higher understanding of our world can results in a higher understanding of ourselves.