Title: Where the Crawdads Sing
Author: Delia Owens
About the Author: Delia Owens published her first book, “Where the Crawdads Sing”, in 2018, but co-wrote books before that with her previous husband, Mark Owens. She is an American author and zoologist, having grown up in Georgia and studying animals in Africa.
Other Books by This Author: Cry of the Kalahari, The Eye of the Elephant, Secrets of the Savannah
Awards: #1 New York Times Best Seller
Series: not a series
Original Publishing Year: 2018
Age Rating: 16+
Positive Review: I enjoyed the character development present in the novel, not only of the protagonist, Kya, but also of some of the surrounding support characters, such as Tate and Jodie. Reading of the struggles they faced and overcame made me question how I would have handled those situations. Would I have been able to survive in abandonment and solitude? The strengths and weaknesses of the characters reminded me of how human we are, even fictional characters are relatable. I do like a good romance, but this romance was not always lovey-dovey; it was real, presenting the struggles of a girl growing into a woman and facing the changes that are both mental and physical. One love was sweet and painful, and the other was listful and empty. The comparison between the two showed how romance is not always a smooth ride, and sometimes, to gain something, you must give up something in return. But Kya was not blind in either love situation, she recognized her weaknesses, and I believe readers can learn through her self-reflections.
Negative Review: I wasn’t always hooked to the story, I could easily set it down and come back to it, for at times it was a bit dry and I just didn’t feel that emotionally involved in the plot. There were occasions where I was swimming through empty text, just filled details I had to get through (e.g. Kya boating through the marsh). Present, was quite the amount of descriptive imagery, including metaphors and similes about nature, and at first I was lost in the overgrowth of details, but as I worked my way through it, I began to see the story underneath.
Overall Review: I don’t often read books set in the South, so this was a nice change of pace. Two stories were presented in the novel: one occurring in the past, and the other in the present. In the beginning, I wondered how the two would be connected. The present provided suspense that made me curious about the past and how events would unfold to connect the two. As the past grew closer to the present, until the two were combined, I began to see the careful preparation the author had done in the details of the past to help explain why the present situation had occurred. I made my own theories, was thrown off the trail, and baffled. But my questions were answered and I feel satisfied with the outcome of the novel. There was no cliffhanger to leave me frustrated.
Summary: In the small town of Barkley Cove on the coast of North Carolina, there are rumors of the “Marsh Girl”. She is wild, feral, and utterly illusive, and her name is Kya Clark. She escapes barefoot through the town, always avoided by the villagers, always alone. Few would speak to her, and those that do would agree she is not like others. She is alluring in her untamed beauty, having survived for years on her own in the marsh. Who better to blame for the death of the handsome and well-loved Chase Andrews, after his surprising fall from the fire tower in 1969? She’s like an animal in her mannerisms, but what the townspeople don’t seem to realize, is that she’s human, too.