BOOK REVIEW: WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING by Delia Owens
It’s 1952 deep in the marsh of Barkley Cove, a small town on the coast of North Carolina. Kya, six years old, watches her mother walk down their sandy path, never looking back. Soon enough, her four older siblings all leave, too– even Jodie, the brother she was closest too. All because of an angry husband and father who used his fists to talk.
Fast forward to 1969 where Chase Andrews’ dead body is found in that very marsh. People talk. They’ve always been suspicious of the marsh girl. They can’t believe Chase was ever involved with her, whatever that means.
Chapter by chapter, we bridge the gap between the years, learning Kya’s story– the marsh girl. How even though she only ever attended one day of elementary school, she learned to read because of a good friend. How learning to read gave her the ability to learn about the hidden beauty and wonder of her life in the marsh. How she learned to be very good at being alone until she understood what true connection felt like.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is part young love, part murder mystery, and part nature. When I went to Barnes & Noble to stock up on books, two strangers at different times told me I needed to read this book– one of the ladies claimed to be a vastly committed reader & said it was her favorite book of all time. She was probably 75, and seeing as how I’ve always connected to that age best, I didn’t blink twice before I snatched it off a bestseller shelf.
And she didn’t lead me astray. I started it on our plane ride to Costa Rica and finished it the next evening– & it’s not a tiny book. Not just that, but I actually left the wedding reception we were attending to sneak back to my room & wrap up the last 30 pages. I just couldn’t focus until I knew the ending!
This book was fascinating and beautiful and heartbreaking. Ever since becoming a mom, the heartbreaking stories stay with me. Something you don’t realize parenting will do to you until you’re there. You see your child in every child out there– even the fictional ones– because imagination always stems from truth at its roots. As I read about Kya, I saw my own two daughters– their lives being in complete opposition from hers, but still, daughters. Daughters learning their surroundings as their only normal with the strongest desire to be loved & accepted within them.
This novel is phenomenal & would make a great next read for either just you or your book club!