Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens


 *I received an advance copy of this title from Putnam Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review* 

 "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."

Where the Crawdads Sing is split amongst two timelines: one centers on Kya in 1952 at the age  of seven until the end of her life, the other is set in 1969 and early 1970 and follows the death of a prominent local man, the investigation, and the subsequent murder trial.

Typically, dual narratives frustrate me. I always prefer one over the other and find myself rushing through some chapters just to get back to the story I care about, but that was not the case with Delia Owens' fiction debut. I was fully invested in both stories, anxious to see how and when they would intersect.  And honestly, I'm still impressed by this fact. When one story is a murder mystery, I can almost guarantee that will be the story line I care about most, but I loved watching Kya grow up, seeing how she navigated her small, lonely world and found the fullness in it.

The nature language in this book is incredible. I lived in the south for three years, minutes away from the ocean, and never once in my life did I enjoy it. I hated the heat, the humidity, the ginormous sea birds and apocalyptic bugs. But seeing the marsh of Nouth Carolina through Kya's eyes was a beautiful, moving experience. The marsh was a vital, vivid character in the book.

Sometimes she heard night‑sounds she didn’t know or jumped from lightning too close, but whenever she stumbled, it was the land who caught her. Until at last, at some unclaimed moment, the heart‑pain seeped away like water into sand. Still there, but deep. Kya laid her hand upon the breathing, wet earth, and the marsh became her mother.

Where the Crawdads Sing is a moving character study and a beautiful coming of age story that is easily one of my favorite reads of the year, and likely one of my favorites of all time. I can't recommend Kya's story enough. It was about human connection, love and heartbreak, redemption, and beyond anything else, hope.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens will be published on August 14th, and I absolutely plan to get myself a physical copy.

What is one of your favorite coming of age stories? 

Happy Reading,