Title: Where the Crawdads Sing
Author: Delia Owens
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Growing up in the marsh of North Carolina in the 1960s, Kya learned everything she needed to know about survival. She learned to survive when her mother left behind her family for the swamps of New Orleans. Kya adapted as each of her older siblings fled the nest one-by-one. And when her father finally abandoned her, Kya was self-sufficient and able to survive in the shack alone.
As an outcast to society, Kya earns the nickname “Marsh Girl” by the locals. Most people avoided her when she walked barefoot into town, but the kindness of people like Jumpin’, the black tackle shop owner, allowed Kya the chance to survive without the need for society. She would boat out to Jumpin’s shop and trade the mussels she caught for the essentials.
Kya makes a friend in the marsh when she recognizes Tate, a local boy, on his boat. Tate had been friends with Kya’s older brother Jodie and he didn’t ignore her the way all of the other kids did. In fact, Tate began to visit Kya often and worked to teach Kya to read. The marsh became her schoolhouse and for the first time, Kya felt companionship.
Many years later, Tate leaves both the marsh and Kya behind for college.
Tate’s move sends Kya back to her hermit lifestyle of interacting only with Jumpin’. She returns to selling mussels in exchange for food and clothes. Her heart is broken and she becomes bitter about the world once again.
In the fall of 1969, the town experiences a grim murder. Chase Andrews, local “it” boy and former quarterback for the football team is found dead in the marsh. At first, the signs of foul play were easy to overlook, but as the police comb the scene they find evidence that someone in the marsh wanted Chase dead. And all clues point toward Kya.
From page one, I was captivated by this tale. The author not only paints a vivid image of the setting, but she educates the reader about the natural wildlife present in the marshes of North Carolina. I found myself learning about the setting while also developing a connection to Kya. When it seemed like the world was against her, those sharp edges would soften thanks to characters like Jumpin’ and Tate who highlight the fact that Kya wasn’t just a ferrel child running loose in the marsh.
I was captivated not only by the nature of this story, but also by the thrill of the Chase Andrews case. Woven into the details of the murder trial are clues that will confuse and startle the reader. And it isn’t until the final pages that the author reveals the truth behind Chase’s death.
This story is worthy of the 5/5 star rating that I gave it on my Goodreads. As an avid reader, it is difficult to surprise me. Any time that I find myself wrapped up in a plot twist or scene is a reminder of why I love reading and writing with such a deep passion. To check out what is next on my TBR list, check out my Goodreads account and follow me there.
The Ameri Brit Mom