On my blog today I’m sharing my thoughts on the stunning novel by Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing. I only discovered this book just before Christmas and I can’t believe it’s only now that I’ve come across it.
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.
I finished Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens a couple of weeks ago, and I can’t stop thinking about it. When I first started reading it, I wasn’t expecting to be pulled as deeply into the novel as I was, it took me totally by surprise. I was captivated by the story of ‘The Marsh Girl,’ and I loved Delia Owen’s writing, which transports you to the marshland’s atmospheric setting.
Kya is one of the most memorable characters I’ve come across in a long while. She lives with her family on the outskirts of the nearby town, surrounded by marshland. From a young age, things are tough for Kya. Unable to live with her father any more, her mother abandons her and the rest of the family when Kya is very small. Soon her older siblings follow their mothers lead, leaving Kya alone with her abusive father. But Kya knows her father well, and she manages to co-exist with him over the next few years, until the day when he doesn’t come back.
I felt so frustrated for Kya. I couldn’t understand why the rest of her family had abandoned her, particularly her siblings, who could have taken her with them. It seemed so unfair that she was the one left behind at such a young age. Because of this, Kya has to grow up first. She has to provide for herself after her father abandons her as well. Kya also becomes the topic of a lot of gossip among the locals. That’s how she earns the nickname, ‘The Marsh Girl.’
This novel isn’t a fast-paced read. When I was reading it, I decided I wanted to take my time with it as I was enjoying the writing so much. We flick backwards and forwards from the late fifties and early sixties to 1969. In 1969 the body of a young man has been found. But we get to learn more about the background of this man in the scenes from earlier years. What is his connection to Kya? I also wanted to know why he had ended up dead? The police are treating his death as a murder, although some believe it was a tragic accident. But the police want to wrap the case up quickly.
There were moments towards the end of this book where I was literally holding my breath as I waited to find out what was going to happen next. Kya was the one character who I rooted for throughout the book. I wanted her to succeed in life and to find someone to spend her life with.
Where the Crawdads Sing is a masterpiece, it’s haunting, and it is beautifully written. It is one of the best novels I’ve read in a long while. I’m sure I’ll be thinking about this book for a long time to come. I highly, highly recommend it!
Publication date: 8th November 2018
Print length: 379 pages
Where the Crawdads Sing is available to buy: