Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons on August 14, 2018
Genres: literary fiction
A novel about a young woman determined to make her way in the wilds of North Carolina, and the two men that will break her isolation open.
For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. She's barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark.
But Kya is not what they say. Abandoned at age ten, she has survived on her own in the marsh that she calls home. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life lessons from the land, learning from the false signals of fireflies the real way of this world. But while she could have lived in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world--until the unthinkable happens.
I thought this was a solid read that was maybe a bit over-hyped. Also, if you have difficulty reading about abused children, this may not be for you.
The story starts out in 1952 with 6-year-old Kya watching her mother walk away, never to return. Before long, the rest of her siblings follow, escaping the wrath of their ne’er-do-well drunkard father. Kya is abandoned by both her family and society, left to find her own way in a world where nature is much nicer to her than the humans are.
The rest of the book alternates between Kya’s life and the murder of the town’s golden boy, Chase Andrews, when Kya is in her 20s. I thought the story was woven together well, and I enjoyed the author’s description of the marsh and how important it was in Kya’s life. But there were some aspects of the book I really didn’t enjoy.
I largely felt the dialect was unnecessary and annoying to read. I think there are ways to depict that aspect of a character without using that crutch. I also thought the bit with the poet at the end was an unneeded twist. And maybe I didn’t actually need to know what happened to Kya’s mother?
But overall, I enjoyed the story and read it quite quickly over my Christmas break. It is easy to become invested in Kya’s survival.
- “If you’re looking for a powerful story with an amazing female protagonist, you have to give this book a try. There’s a reason why the ratings and reviews are as they are. The book is that good.” — Under the Covers Book Blog
- “There is so much to love and appreciate in Where the Crawdads Sing, from the atmospheric setting to the memorable characters. This is a tale I will not soon forget.” — Kristin Kraves Books
- “Although it was dragging for me at first, the way the plot picks up and climaxes and the way the book ends pulled me in so hard, I fell in love with it. Looking back at the book as a whole, I think it’s okay that it starts off so slow. There’s so much character development there, so much backstory, so many necessary words.” — Literary Quicksand