Book Reviews

Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens {Book Review}

Happy Friday book readers! Friday always fills me with hope for a good reading weekend ahead! Just me? Though I know that will not be my reality this weekend, as tomorrow is BOOK CLUB MEETUP DAY!!! One of our members also celebrates a birthday, so it’s a special book club day. It’s only fitting that today’s review is our actual book of the month, Where the Crawdads Sing. This is another one of Reese’s book club picks, albeit an older one. It may as well be Reese Witherspoon week on the blog, after I reviewed another of her picks, Such a Fun Age, a few days ago over HERE. Where the Crawdads Sing was my first read of 2020, and while there is a mystery/whodunnit element to the book, it was not my usual sort of read. Did I regret making this book number 1 of 2020?

Quote

“She knew the years of isolation had altered her behavior until she was different from others, but it wasn’t her fault she’d been alone. Most of what she knew, she’d learned from the wild. Nature had nurtured, tutored, and protected her when no one else would.”
— Delia Owens (Where the Crawdads Sing)

What is Where the Crawdads Sing about?

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.Where the Crawdads Sing

My Thoughts

Characters and the Story Line

The book starts with the discovery of a body, that of Chase Andrews, the town’s golden boy. The book moves through 2 timelines, the present, when the body is discovered, and the past, Kya, the ‘marsh girl’s’ past. These 2 timelines will eventually collide and we’ll figure out how Kya’s story meets up with Chase’s.

Kya was essentially abandoned and has raised herself from a very young age. As a mother myself, I could not begin to imagine a child living under these circumstances – So alone and isolated. The major characters in the book are of course Chase, and then we also have Jumpin and his wife Mabel, who are so kind to Kya. Bless them. There is also the friendship with a boy named Tate, who is also a pivotal part of this story.

My review

Can I just say I loved this book and be done with it? To review it, is to relive all the emotions that this book and the writing stirred up within me. As I said, this isn’t something I typically would have reached for, despite having seen it hyped all over #Bookstagram. I’m so glad one of our book club members suggested it though.

The book started off slowly, but I think Delia was just so immersed in setting this scene, and also making sure we know exactly how hard Kya’s life has been. She cannot read or write. She has no money, food, electricity. Kya has to rely on her own wits to survive….from about the age of 7…which is mind boggling! (You may have to suspend reality a bit here if your mind cannot get around this. Book aside though, we know there are real kids, in the real world, hustling at this age, to get through life. Such a horrific thought…..)

Once we hit about a third of the way through the book, it starts picking up. We see this beautiful friendship developing with Tate. We see Mabel and Jumpin trying to help Kya, all the while, allowing her to maintain her pride and independence. There is also the charming Chase, who we know, will meet an untimely demise….

Even though the book is about hopefully solving Chase’s murder, that became a backstory to Kya’s story. The writing was heartbreaking, inspiring and just plain old beautiful. I really just enjoyed the read, one page at a time… reading about the birds, the mud, the marsh…. I felt as if I was there, looking around. That’s the sign of brilliant writing I feel!

My rating

Where the Crawdads Sing has a Goodreads rating of 4.49 stars out of 5. I’m pretty sure that’s one of the highest ratings I’ve ever seen. I agree 100% and I rate it a solid 4.5 stars out of 5.

I’m nit picking here and docking half a star only because the description of the surroundings, bugs and nature did become a bit repetitive. From the reviews I’ve read, people have either loved this one, or hated it flat out. There seems to be no middle ground! Everybody I know personally so far, seem to love it too…. So if you’ve read it, let me know your thoughts!

Where the Crawdads Sing retails for R170 currently on Readers Warehouse.

Where the Crawdads Sing

I’m Simone, a mom of 3, a wife...obsessed with my family, makeup and books!

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