Title: Where the Crawdads Sing
Author: Delia Owens
Genre: Historical Fiction
Published: August 14th 2018 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Rating: 4/5 stars ★★★★
“Sometimes she heard night-sounds she didn’t know or jumped from lightning too close, but whenever she stumbled, it was the land who caught her. Until at last, at some unclaimed moment, the heart-pain seeped away like water into sand. Still there, but deep. Kya laid her hand upon the breathing, wet earth, and the marsh became her mother.”
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.
4 of 5 stars to Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
When I began reading this story, I didn’t expect that I would not want to stop. I’m an avid romance reader, that’s obvious, but I find general fiction quite boring sometimes. Where the Crawdads Sing managed to erase that impression altogether.
To say I was obsessed with this book would be right–I literally did not want to put it down! I started at 11 PM (that was my mistake) so I ended up sleeping at 3 AM when my eyes stubbornly refused to hold on. I had to sleep at some point.
The next morning’s first order of business was of course, picking the book up and continuing where I left off. There were meals in between (I’m not that crazy!) but you get the gist–I gobbled this one up like my favorite chocolate mousse cake.
What was so compelling about it? The storytelling, I would say. Delia Owens single-handedly smashed my top pet peeves: jumping timeline and lack of dialogue. I know now that there’s actually a ‘right’ way to do this kind of storytelling, one that would not annoy me nor bore me. Let me be clear, this is a personal preference and in no way am I suggesting that Owens’ way is the ‘only’ right approach.
Moreover, I would add that one of the reasons her story worked so well for me was because it started with a murder mystery–a genre that I could not get enough of. It also did not hurt that a good part of the book had a well-established romance. I’ll attribute that to her being a woman, hence, she knows how to write the romantic details so convincingly.
The imagery she created around the marsh and the swamps of North Carolina was so clear and vivid, I had no problem visualizing things even though I’ve never been to NC and I am not at all familiar with this kind of landscape.
I think Owens successfully converted me into a fan and I cannot wait to read more general fiction. I’ll stick to women though. I find that I enjoy their writing style better.