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.
We meet Kaya in 1952, and when Kya was only 6 years old, her mother ran away and left Kya alone with an abusive father. We follow this coming-of-age story of an abandoned young girl who survives on soda crackers and grits. Kya raises herself by the marsh that becomes her family and safe haven.
Faces change with life’s toil, but eyes remain a window to what was, and she could see him there.
Where The Crawdads Sing is Delia Owens’s debut novel and what a beautiful debut it is! I’m not sure I agree with how this book has been marketed as part coming-of-age, part mystery. The mystery part of the book is minimal. This lovely novel is a wonderful example of literary fiction. Kya is a great character, and we follow her on this journey as she grows and survives the things she does. Kya’s loneliness and abandonment make her a very sympathetic character. Owens’s poetic prose and brilliant descriptions of nature overshadow the unrealistic portions of the story and the chronological back-and-forth between the chapters.
Go as far as you can–way out yonder where the crawdads sing.
This is a beautifully written novel that deserves all the hype and recommendations it has received.