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Where the Crawdads Sing

Review

Where the Crawdads Sing

Kya is just six years old when her mother leaves, never to return. Her father is a mean drunk and a gambler who regularly beats her mother, and sometimes inflicts similar abuse on her and her four brothers and sisters. Soon after their mother’s abrupt departure, her three older siblings disappear. Then one day, her brother, whom she loves dearly, also decides to leave. So Kya is left alone with her father, who, when he isn’t consuming alcohol, takes her fishing and teaches her how to steer a boat. Yet that soon changes, as he becomes violent and starts drinking again. One day he leaves and doesn’t return.

So, when she is just 10, Kya is left all alone in the marsh. She learns fairly quickly how to take care of herself, but her life is a hard, lonesome and sad one. All this time, Kya longs for human interaction. She is fortunate enough to befriend local gas seller Jumpin’ and his wife, Mabel, along with a boy named Tate, who teaches her to read, write and count. Tate has opened up a whole new world to Kya, and she starts to record the wildlife of the marsh. Nonetheless, for residents of Barkley Cove, a small town on the North Carolina coast, Kya is just a “Marsh Girl.” Thus, when Chase Andrews, a young local, is found dead, Kya is the first and only suspect.

"What Owens has done is pure magic. She has managed to write a story that has resonated with me and that I will remember for a very long time."

WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING has it all --- beautiful characters, a wonderful plot and magnificent descriptions --- and provides in-depth insight into the marsh’s flora and fauna. Author Delia Owens is also masterful at describing life in the small town, whose citizens are highly distrustful of those who live on its outskirts, and provides a fine critique of how easily people jump to conclusions.

Although the novel contains elements that I am not very fond of --- a child who is abandoned and rejected, detailed descriptions of nature, a non-linear narrative (the story goes back and forth between 1952 and 1970, describing Kya’s life from her childhood to her early 20s) --- it made me cry and turned out to be a fantastic read. While wiping away my tears, I was frantically turning pages to find out what would happen next and if Kya would finally get her happy ending.

What Owens has done is pure magic. She has managed to write a story that has resonated with me and that I will remember for a very long time. It is so obvious that she cares deeply for both Kya and nature; the connection between this beautiful girl and the marsh in which she lives is palpable. WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING is absolutely worth reading, and I give it my highest possible recommendation.

Reviewed by Dunja Bonacci Skenderović on August 17, 2018

Where the Crawdads Sing
by Delia Owens

  • Publication Date: August 14, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
  • ISBN-10: 0735219095
  • ISBN-13: 9780735219090