Title: Where the Crawdads Sing
Author: Delia Owens
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Genre(s): Historical Fiction
Release Date: August 14th, 2018
Buy This Book: Amazon/Audible
Fans of Barbara Kingsolver will love this stunning debut novel from a New York Times bestselling nature writer, about an unforgettable young woman determined to make her way in the wilds of North Carolina, and the two men that will break her isolation open.
For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. She’s barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark.
But Kya is not what they say. Abandoned at age ten, she has survived on her own in the marsh that she calls home. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life lessons from the land, learning from the false signals of fireflies the real way of this world. But while she could have lived in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world–until the unthinkable happens.
In Where the Crawdads Sing, Owens juxtaposes an exquisite ode to the natural world against a heartbreaking coming of age story and a surprising murder investigation. Thought-provoking, wise, and deeply moving, Owens’s debut novel 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.
This was such an incredibly moving, poignant, and captivating read!
Kya was just six years old when her mother walked away from their house wearing her “going out” alligator skin shoes and carrying a small case of belongings. She never returned. One by one, each of Kya’s siblings soon followed in their mother’s footsteps, until it was just Kya and her father – a mean, often abusive, drunk who left for days and weeks at a time. Kya was left to her own devices, forced to learn at a young age how to cook, clean, and do her own laundry. When her supplies ran out, she found ways to make money from the marsh and learned how to shop for supplies without drawing attention to herself and her situation. Isolated from all people and lacking any familiar love, the book explains how “the marsh became her mother”. She spent her days exploring the wild beauty all around her, discovering all there is to know about the land and the wildlife it holds, and feeding the gulls who are her only friends.
Years later, Kya is a grown woman, still living alone in her home in the marsh. When a prominent town-member is found murdered, people are quick to point fingers at the isolated and strange woman they call “Marsh Girl”; and Kya is forced to defend herself and protect the life she created.
This is a very atmospheric and engrossing read. The author uses really vivid and beautifully written descriptions, allowing the reader to get lost in the lush marsh wilderness along with Kya. The story moves at a good pace and, although I would classify it as a historical coming-of-age novel, it is so much more than that. This is a tale of survival—a story about friendship and kindness, but also rejection and abandonment; romance and heartbreak. There’s suspense, courthouse drama, and a murder mystery mixed in. I was glued to the pages all night and didn’t want it to end!
I have read over 100 books so far this year, and Where the Crawdads Sing has earned its place in my top 5. Everyone needs to read this book!
Rating: 5/5 stars
Thank you to G.P. Putnam’s Sons for the opportunity to read this book for free in exchange for my honest review.