Note: Joli has also reviewed this book. Find her review here.
I have been waiting on my library’s waitlist for Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens for MONTHS. Not because the library didn’t have a lot of copies (they had a LOT of copies) but because the demand for this novel has been EGREGIOUS. Well, maybe not to the author, but to those of us who didn’t get an advance copy!! Luckily, I seem to be in a 2020 Top Reads roll, because this one did NOT disappoint. But, onward to the synopsis!
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.
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.
Mark my words guys, this one is going to be a movie.
Originally published at the end of 2018, somehow Where The Crawdads Sing slipped by on my radar until it had an impossibly huge reader list. I honestly wasn’t thrilled at getting into it; I like Kingsolver, but I find it her works generally a little slow. And there are a lot of books about the bayou that have surfaced in the last few years. But once I picked it up, I didn’t put this book down. It took me only 2 days, and that’s being pretty darn generous, to finish Where The Crawdads Sing; pages flew by as the plot wrapped itself around the small town of Barkley Cove. I found myself worrying at about 2/3 through, because I was so in love with Kya that I worried things would be spoiled somehow in the ending. I shouldn’t have worried. End to end, this novel is captivating, full of beauty, and so come to life that I wondered if it was based on a true story.
My second favourite part of this novel is actually the author, Ms. Owens. Her ties to nature, and love of the wild things, is so apparent in this masterpiece of a book. Delia Owens and her husband studied Zambian wildlife for decades, and her ability to translate her own experience into the story of this raging, wild girl is just so compelling. I hope she chooses to write more, because her first fictional work is wonderful. Definitely pick this up if you get the chance!!