Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens | Book Review [SPOILER FREE]


The Marsh Girl is spoken about throughout the town of Barkley Cove. Living alone in the shack at her swap since the age of 10, Kya has become somewhat of a urban legend to the local townsfolk. Only boating to the town when in need of gas, food, or supplies from Jumpin', people just don't understand her. She's lonely but doesn't know how to blend in with other people, instead choosing to fill her days by collecting feathers, insects, and anything related to her swap. When Tate, a fisherman's boy, takes an interest in her and says he'll help her learn to read, their relationship takes on a life of it's own. But college is looming for him, and Chase the local athlete is all too willing to take his place. Cut to the future, Kya now a 23-year-old woman, and Chase, the once promising star of the town, is found dead at the bottom of the old fire tower. Was he pushed, or was this a tragic accident? Was that dreaded Marsh Girl involved?

That sounds as though this book is built around the romances, but it really isn't. This is a coming of age story in circumstances that most of us couldn't even fathom. Kya is a glorious character and it's truly a beautiful thing to watch her grow into her own throughout the novel. The characters are all quite well rounded. My main issue which lowered this from a 5 star book, was the utter lack of content during the first 150+ pages. Though we were getting to know Kya and getting a glimpse into her family life, it was rather.. boring. I hate to say that as I did really like this book in the end, but it just dragged for me. Some paragraphs really weren't needed, and the constant reciting of poetry from Kya was a little.. jarring, it took me out of the story. 

Saying that, I would recommend this if you enjoy general fiction. The things I liked about Where The Crawdads Sing far outnumbered the negatives. I enjoyed the characters, I especially like that you could see the heart of each of the side characters through the eyes of Kya, which is a rarity. Usually you only get a good view on a character when you read a passage through their POV, but this was wonderfully written. I liked the growth of Kya intellectually yet she stays rather foreign to human interactions, which was both believable and interesting. I liked the time the story is set in - the late 60's to the early 70's. Because of this we see times change for this nowhere little town, such as whites and blacks starting to interact, women slowly getting more freedom in the town, corporations looking to upscale the place. I found it interesting.

Speaking of interesting, through Kya's eyes we as readers get to learn so much about the creatures that reside in the swap. The author Delia Owen is a wildlife scientist so her knowledge is endless, which really did add a lovely touch to the story. 

All in all, I enjoyed this book. It was the epitome of a slow burn but by the time I finished, I was really glad to have read it. There was parts that were corny, but also parts that made me smile. The love, mystery, and survival of the story all took a backseat to the growth of Kya and I'm honoured to of read her story. She took a place in my heart.

Rating: ★★★★

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