ABOUT THE BOOK:
Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, 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.
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Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is a 2018 G.P. Putnam's Sons publication.
One part mystery, one part legal drama, one part coming of age story, and one part love story- equals a full heartrending poignant tale that will leave you gasping for air.
Barkley Cove, North Carolina- 1969
Kya Clark- aka- “The Marsh Girl’ has been abandoned, one by one, by every single person in her life. She lives by the seat of her pants, in a shack, eluding everyone, except a friend of her brother’s named, Tate.
Tate watches out for Kya, when he’s able, and teaches her to read, among other things. As time moves on, however, despite a deepening affection for Kya, Tate knows he'll have to leave, and go away to college.
While he's away, the myth of ‘The Marsh Girl’ will solidify forevermore. Kya will face a challenge like no other, and her fate will rest in the hands of the residents of Barkley Cove, with folks who have taunted her, shunned her, and judged her, her entire life.
In 2016-17, there were several stellar novels written, which centered around children or teens raised in a turbulent, ‘off the grid’ environment, living in harsh conditions and under the care of an unreliable, or unstable father. While they were all quite compelling and effective, I wasn’t sure I wanted to tackle another one with a similar theme.
Yet, with more and more high praise pouring in and one stellar review after another posted by readers, I began to regret my decision to pass on this one. So, obviously, I succumbed, and checked it out of the library.
I never doubted the book would be a good one, I just didn’t know if I had the emotional strength right at this moment to tackle the topics of abuse and neglect.
But as it turns out, this story isn’t really about the escape from an unconventional upbringing, or about the harsh survivalist or endurance skills needed to cope with an unforgiving landscape, as I had originally thought.
While the story certainly drives home the cause and effects of abandonment and the cycles of domestic abuse and violence, this is also a very tender coming of age tale, a story of survival, but also a story of real friendship, true love, and what it means to truly feel free.
Kya suffers a great deal of heartbreak, even from unexpected sources, but seems to have resigned herself to a way of life she believes is really her only true option. But, all of it is threatened when a body is found in the marsh, and Kya’s life is suddenly under a white-hot spotlight.
The author does a fantastic job with the ecological descriptions and drawing the reader into the beauty Kya sees in her environment. The rich characterizations, especially with Kya’s character study, is another area in which the book excels.
There are layers of thought -provoking topics, and a stunning revelation that knocked my breath out, but for those who are sticklers for realistic fiction, this one stretches the boundaries of plausibility in many places. However, you should allow yourself to go along with it, because that is part of the beauty of fiction, and it is well worth any required suspension of belief.
Ultimately, I was exceedingly glad I gave this book a try. It was everything I knew it would be, but it was a lot more than I anticipated. As a fan of courtroom drama, I enjoyed the trial scenes, and the mystery elements, but of course it is Kya who stole my heart and made me feel envious for to the kind of freedom and way of life she willingly sacrificed so much to maintain.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Delia Owens is the co-author of three internationally bestselling nonfiction books about her life as a wildlife scientist in Africa—Cry of the Kalahari, The Eye of the Elephant, and Secrets of the Savanna. She has won the John Burroughs Award for Nature Writing and has been published in Nature, The African Journal of Ecology, and International Wildlife, among many others. She currently lives in Idaho, where she continues her support for the people and wildlife of Zambia. Where the Crawdads Sing is her first novel.
You can also connect with Delia on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/authordeliao...