Happy Monday! Today I have a review of Where the Crawdads Sing, publishing on August 14, 2018 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons. I am super excited to share this one with you because it is on my favorites list for this year. The writing is lovely, and the storytelling is brilliant.
Barclay Cove is a quiet place along the North Carolina coast. I tried to imagine this setting and time period, as someone familiar with the area, and I could not quite fit where it was in reality; however, using the author’s extraordinary gift for description without being overly flowery, in my imagination, I can perfectly picture the mysterious marsh.
The book begins with the story of Kya, a young girl whose mother walks out on the family, leaving the children to fend for themselves with an alcoholic father who is absent most of the time. Not to mention the fact that they live in the inhospitable marsh as squatters (there are, indeed, small settlements on the North Carolina coast today that were founded my “squatters”).
Kya’s siblings are older, and they flee, leaving her alone with her father. She learns to care for herself at a young age because she has to. Kya is uneducated by choice and circumstance, though the town attempted to get her to attend at first. Even without schooling, she is sharp and caring, as she learns the ways of life through the marsh and all it has to teach her.
For years, Kya lives this way and is known as the “Marsh Girl” by the townies. When a young man of the same age is found dead, everyone in town assumes it must have been Kya, and fingers are pointed. She has been involved with two young men who were entranced with her, but was Kya involved in the death of Chase Andrews?
Where the Crawdads Sing is a glorious and equally somber coming of age story for Kya. Though she was called to a different life from the one she has always known, how much will her upbringing continue to control who she is? The writing is exquisite, the setting atmospheric on a grand scale, and Kya is a strong and unforgettable character I wanted to hug. Overall, I simply adored this book. I was immersed completely in Kya’s vibrant world, and my heart ached at every turn. The ending is memorable, and the messages are strong. Beautiful nature and a captivating story.
Thank you to G.P. Putnam’s Sons for the ARC. All opinions are my own.
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.
Have you read Where the Crawdads Sing, or do you plan to? Have you read any southern fiction favorites? Happy Reading! ~ Jennifer THR