Title: Where the Crawdads Sing
Author: Delia Owns
Genre: Historical Fiction, Adult, Mystery
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Pub. Date: August 14, 2018
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
A novel about a 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.
A contemporary coming of age story sprinkled with some mystery told in a timeline from early 1950s to the 1970s. We follow Kya Clark from the age of 6 and her story to adulthood. Always known as “The Marsh Girl”, life hasn’t been very nice to Kya. She’s had to deal with abandonment since she was 6. Slowly but surely her whole family walks out on her and at the age 10 she has to learn to survive on her own. She becomes familiar with her surroundings and her friends are nature. There have always been stories of “The Marsh Girl” in Barkley Cove, North Carolina. However no one knows that Kya didn’t chose this lonesome path, she craves love and touch and familiarity. She’s just scared that if she gets close, people will leave her again. While reading about Kya, we also learn that in late 1969, Chase Andrews is found dead, and everyone easily suspects Kya Clark, the girl raised from the wild. Jumping timelines, we watch Kya grow and learn about Chase’s involvement in Kya’s life.
“There are some who can live without
wild things, and some who cannot.”
WHAT A WORK OF ART!!!! This book is so lush and every single word captivates you. I even learned about animals, the marsh, the waters, and nature. I loved the added pieces of poetry too.
This book deals with a lot of abandonment and loneliness. And let me tell you that the author knows exactly how to convey that. I felt it all throughout the book, I cried many times while reading this, feeling for our MC Kya. My chest was hollow time after time. The author articulated every little thing perfectly. I found no flaws with the writing and pacing and flow of the book.
This novel was heartbreaking, beautiful, and haunting. Very atmospheric. I cried and rejoiced with the character, I screamed when she screamed, and felt her frustrations. The added mystery to the novel was a plus. It was very well done. I wouldn’t go into this book thinking it’s a Mystery Novel because it’s more so a coming of age story.
I loved how the author didn’t shy away from what was occurring during that time period 1950s-1970s. We see racism (with other characters) and how a whole town had it against Kya. I felt sucked into this timeline every time I picked up this book.
“Don’t go thinking poetry’s just for sissies. There’s mushy love poems,
for sure, but there’s also funny ones, lots about nature, war even.
Whole point of it–they make ya feel something.”
I absolutely loved this novel. Everything, from the characters, the scenes, the stories, the mystery was just written beautifully. From beginning to end, I was engrossed in this book and was left thinking about it even after I finished. Those are good books right? The ones that really mark you and leave you lingering days after? I am so happy to know that it has been picked up for a movie. I know for a fact that I will need a lot of tissues for it. This was such a great debut. The author always transported me to this world when I opened the book. Where the Crawdads Sing is captivating in every which way. I loved all the themes of strength, resilience, hope, desperation, etc. I’m a huge fan of Mother Nature and I felt connected to it through this book as well. I highly recommend!
“I’m sure you know that most stars are too far away for us
to see. We see only their light, which be can be distorted
by the atmosphere. But, of course, the stars are not
stationary, but moving very fast.”
I’m starting to think that I’ll probably have to check out Reese Witherspoon’s book club picks. First Daisy Jones and now this? Have you read Where the Crawdad Sings?