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Review: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Title: Where the Crawdads Sing

AuthorDelia Owens

Year Published: 2018

Category: Adult fiction
Pages: 384
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location (my 2021 Google Reading map) USA (NC)

Summary (from Amazon): 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.

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.

Review: I have had this book on my TBR shelf since it first came out 3 years ago and everyone was raving about it. I got caught up in the hype, purchased it in hard back, then got intimidated. I am good at doing that to myself, especially with literary fiction.  It's been that way since I was a teenager. And you all kept mentioning that it's got lots of descriptions of nature, which aren't my thing. But, I finally took the book down off the shelf and promised myself I would read it in May. I actually finished it April 30.

I totally get what all the hype is about. This book pulled me in with Kya's predicament (is it realistic that she is basically on her own at age 6? Not really and I did have issues with that) and how she survives, eventually bringing in Jumpin' and Tate for needed help and human contact. I liked that Kya interacts with and respects nature and did feel the sense of impending awfulness throughout the book, which makes it tense as well as calming, if that seems possible.

I liked the parallel stories of the murder mystery and the Marsh Girl's life and how they come together (because of course they do). I loved Tate and Jumpin' and Mabel. I like how Kya interacts with nature and is self-taught.

My thoughts as I finished the book? Damn that's a fantastic read! Why the heck did I wait three years?!

Challenges for which this counts:
  • Cloak and Dagger
  • Popsugar--about art or an artist (this isn't Kya's main feature, but I did love her collecting of feathers and other bits of nature to create her art)

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