Book Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 / 5 stars)
It starts with a murder: local hot-shot, Chase, is found dead by the fire tower. Everyone turns their blame to one person: the Marsh Girl – Kya Clark. But, Kya is not who they think she is, but a smart and intelligent woman with a deep path. Does her past hold the secrets behind Chase’s murder? Or is it not quite what anyone expects?
Where the Crawdad’s Sing has been on shelves everywhere. I initially picked it up in March as an audio book, but the heartbreaking nature of Kya’s childhood made it impossible to continue as an audio book. So I ultimately put it down and did not pick it up again until December. The narrative is beautifully written, pulling you into Kya’s marsh, and feeling her suffering as she tries to navigate her adolescence into adulthood. Yet, more than anything, the courtroom scenes pulled me into the place of the juror. Who was innocent? How as the murder committed? And in the end, planting those seeds of doubt.
Yet with the beauty of the story, the length of time it took me to finish this book prevented me from clinging to the narrative with interest. I was able to put it down for months without a twinge of desire to go back until recently. In addition, while I can suspend disbelief for the narrative, it is hard to imagine a girl of Kya’s age surviving entirely on her own in the marsh for most of her life. Surely adults would be more compassionate – at least I would hope. But, the beauty of fiction is being able to ignore these possible disbeliefs and immerse yourself in the story.
I can see why this book has enchanted millions. Delia Owen whisks you away in your narrative, and before you know it, you’ll want to venture out into your nearby swamp to see if you can find any Marsh Girls living out there.
What’s it about?
For years, rumors 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