Where the Crawdads Sing
Location: FIC OWE
Genre: Fiction, Historical, Mystery
“I wasn't aware that words could hold so much. I didn't know a sentence could be so full.”
“His dad had told him many times that the definition of a real man is one who cries without shame, reads poetry with his heart, feels opera in his soul, and does what’s necessary to defend a woman.”
For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet fishing village. Kya Clark is barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when the popular Chase Andrews is found dead, locals immediately suspect her.
But Kya is not what they say. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life's lessons from the land, learning the real ways of the world from the dishonest signals of fireflies. But while she has the skills to live 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.
In Where the Crawdads Sing, Owens juxtaposes an exquisite ode to the natural world against a profound coming of age story and haunting mystery. Thought-provoking, wise, and deeply moving, Owens’s debut novel reminds us that we are forever shaped by the child within us, while also subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.
The story asks how isolation influences the behavior of a young woman, who like all of us, has the genetic propensity to belong to a group. The clues to the mystery are brushed into the lush habitat and natural histories of its wild creatures.
"I can’t get over how perfect this book is. The writing grabbed me from literally the first page and kept me entranced. And the story! How can your heart not help but ache for Kya? First her mother leaves, then her siblings, even her ne’er do well father. Left to her own devices by the entire town, she survives without schooling or any aid. The preacher’s wife calls her white trash and hurries her child away from Kya convinced she carries disease.
The marsh is a character in its own right. Owens does a magnificent job describing it so that we feel we are there, seeing every plant, bird and insect along with Kya. Owens paints the surroundings just like Kya paints, with a fine brush intent on getting every detail right.
There are so many heartbreaking moments in this book. Kya just can’t understand why everyone leaves her. The murder mystery was very well done and I had no clue how it would play out. The suspense was killing me.
So, this is my first five star book of 2019. It has everything - beautiful writing, great characters and suspense. Highly recommend it!"- Review by Liz