For years, rumours 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 immedicately 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 comes the time when she yearns to be loved. When two young men from the town become intruiged by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself up to a new life – until the unthinkable happens.
‘Where Crawdads Sing’ has been making waves through the book world, and it has been popping up in the corners for quite a while now, with person after person raving about how it is their ‘favourite book yet this year’, and ‘so amazing’. My curiosity naturally piqued, I needed to see for myself.
I have heard books described as ‘atmospheric’ before, and I have used that word myself in the past multiple times, but it has different meanings having just awoken from the dream-like trance of Kya’s marshes. Delia Owens has taught me to love a place that I have never even seen without the long dreary descriptive paragraphs that you often find when somebody tries a little too hard to scene set. Every nook and cranny has a story, a purpose and life attached to it when seen through Kya’s eyes, and I needed to take a moment to applaud that at the beginning.
The character of Kya is absolutely endearing, and you cannot help but fall for her as the story progresses. I did wonder how easy it would be to read a book where the main character was alone for most of her life, but once I got stuck in (I’ll admit, that took me a couple of chapters) I barely even noticed the pages turning.
Kya sees the world through a very different lens to most people, with much of her experience of the world being in isolation. Her experiences of kindness are few and far between, with very few people who she ever spoke to in any meaningful capacity. The story handles this learning curve with grace and a wild beauty, echoed by Kya’s love of the marshes and everything that lives there. Her understanding of nature and survival cast stark new shadows on the relationships that we form and what it is to be outside of the herd. I particularly enjoyed the reflections on love in humans and in nature, and Kyas musings on the way that animals attract a mate. They were both amusing and at times very meaningful.
The ‘whodunnit’ aspect of the story was the least interesting part to me, but plays a crucial role in the plot and overall takeaway from the book at the end. I could happily have done without it at many points in the middle section of the book, mainly because Kyas backstory was so gripping that I hated to be torn away from it.
Overall it was a brilliant book and I can absolutely relate to all of the ravings about how amazing it was. It was touching, atmospheric and transported me completely to Kyas shack and the marshes that she loved. I enjoyed her character development, especially after she and Tate became closer. She is a character that will stay with me long after I turned the final page. I am now officially one of the masses recommending this book to you.
As always, enjoy
If you liked this, you may also like;