Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
This is the kind of book you wish you could read again for the first time. The writing is beautiful and the characters are deep and complex, and the story is riveting as it weaves in and out of timelines. There is so much detail in the writing it’s easy to feel like you’re right there in the marsh with Kya, you can feel her isolation. The Marsh is as much a character as Kya. This story explores the differences between loneliness and being alone, resilience, survival and human connection. Kya lives alone for most of her life in a shack in the marsh, as each member of her family leaves in turn. She survives and thrives through the friendship of the man named Jumpin’ who sells her gas for her boat (and his wife who both become surrogate parental figures for her) and Tate, a local boy who knew her brother and who, unlike most of the town, doesn’t see her as a freak. Tate teaches her to read and Jumpin’ sees that she can support herself by buying mussels she digs up in the wee hours of the morning.
Along side Kya’s survival story is the mysterious death of the local football star / golden boy, Chase Andrews, found by two local kids without any indication of what happened. No one can agree, was it murder or an accident?
I couldn’t put this down until the end. There are some things in the plot that I am sure are implausible but I was able to suspend my disbelief and enjoy Kya’s world wholeheartedly. It is simultaneously sad and hopeful, emotionally uplifting and heartbreaking. This is a book that I’ll be thinking about for a long time. 5/5 stars ⭐️
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