Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is an adult fiction novel that is part mystery, part coming of age novel and an ode to nature.
Everyone knows of the Marsh Girl, even if they haven’t seen her. She haunts the marsh and is constantly on the outskirts of society, fitting in nowhere. So it’s not surprising when she becomes a suspect in the 1969 murder of Chase Andrews, town golden boy and all around jerk.
Kya Clark was abandoned by everyone she loves, one by one, until, at the age of 7, she was completely alone. A born naturalist, Kya makes the marsh her life, her home. Intelligent, sensitive and incredible observant, Kya survives years on her own but even though she is used to the solitude the loneliness still tugs at her.
Alternation between Kya’s progression from child to woman, to the present murder case, is the story of how nature and nurture collide.
For me, this book combined some of my favorite elements from some of my favorite authors and joined them into one. There is this sense of struggle, both internal and external, that really reminds me of Barbara Kingsolver’s writing. But there is also this deep appreciation of the land, an understanding of it, that is so reminiscent of Ivan Doig. These paired with dynamic relationships and that who-dun-it element made for a really good read.
Kya and Tate’s relationship was probably a highlight of the story for me. There was a innocence to it and yet it was still passionate, and not just in a sexual way. I was really glad that they showed how Tate was connected to Kya even before she was left on her own, makes his deep pull toward her a little more believable.
Jumpin’ and Mabel were also a highlight of this story. You could see the political undertones of the time period, how it affected the relationship, but they still cared deeply for Kya. I personally think Jumpin’ was a pillar to the story.
I can’t wait to discuss this one with my bookclub. No wonder it is flying off the shelves. 4.5 stars from me.
That’s all for now!