Length: 384 pages
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons; Later Printing edition (August 14, 2018)
Audience: PG 13 (for a graphic scene, strong language, and sex content)
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.
Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens 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.
I absolutely love authors that immediately snatch me into their story and keep me there! With catching prologues, capturing first chapters, or curious plots: these are what good books are made of. Where the Crawdads Sing has been on my “to read” list since the beginning of 2020. However, I am so glad I finally took the time to sit down and read it.
Delia Owens writes with such passion and intrigue that I was immediately hooked into the story, and was enraptured throughout the entire experience. She describes each character with such detail and tells each scene with such articulation.
I fell in love with the character of Kya Clark and could relate to her experiences and feelings in more ways than one. I hunted along side her when one after one, family members exited her life. I was frustrated with her when so many people took advantage of her. And I wanted to slap someone silly each time a visitor judged Kya by rumor and looks rather than getting to know her personally and deciding for themselves what they thought of the “marsh girl”.
I definitely have to say that I was not at all expecting the book to end in the way that it did. I am not usually a huge fan of surprise endings, but I was presently surprised with the way Delia Owens ended her book. She left the reader with just enough unknown to allow for imagination to spark.
Delia Owens also wrote her book from two POVs and did so expertly. As I say many times, it takes a talented author to switch between POVs in such a way as to engage the reader without confusing him. Delia never confused me when she switched between POVs and I did not have to decipher what she was trying to bring across.
The story of Kya Clark was one in which many people can find at least one part to relate to. I loved how Kya was isolated her whole life but yet she found something to do with her life. She was smart and witty and sassy. She had her own very special personality, and did not allow what others whispered and gossiped about her to define her. She was uniquely Kya.
I recommend Where the Crawdads Sing to an older audience because of its mature content. A handful of strong words are used, a murder is investigated/described, and a few love-making scenes are included. The murder of Chase Andrews is investigated throughout the entire book, and while it is not graphically laid out in each scene, there are several scenes in which the process of the murder is narrated in enough clarity to picture the scene. The love-making scenes are also included in only a few instances, and are sketched enough to understand the details, but are also left with enough mystery for the reader’s imagination to finish as he chooses.
2021 is perfect opportunity to start a reading list, and with my recommendation, Where the Crawdads Sing should be at the top of the list!