One of my resolutions that I have been taking really seriously this year is to read more often. I will go through phases where I read a book every couple days then don’t read a thing for two months. I am trying to get a bit more consistent with my reading. One of the hardest things for me at time is finding interesting books that I actually like. I figure this is probably a common problem for readers like me, so I want to write reviews for the books I do read. I do this in the hopes that someone can find an interesting read they may not have otherwise. Let’s jump into the first review!
What book is it? Where the Crawdads Sing
Who’s it by? Delia Owens
What category is it in? Adult Fiction
What is it about?
The book is split into two parts: the marsh and the swap. The prologue of the book delves into the difference between the two. The marsh being a place of life, growth and sunshine. A place where water moves slowly and birds fly and sing gracefully. The swap being cold, still and dark. A place where everything seems to be swallowed by the mud and there is an eery quietness. It is with this framework that you delve into the book and the parts it is broken down to.
Part 1 of the book, also known as The Marsh, introduces the main character of the novel, Kya. The story is told predominantly from her perspective and follows her life. We come into her life when she is a small six year old that is watching her mother walk away from her. Her family lives in the swampland of a small town on the coast of North Carolina. As a result, they are looked down on by the townsfolk and are considered outcasts. The rest of her family, including her abusive, alcoholic father, eventually leave her as well. By the time she is seven she is on her own and figuring out how to survive on her own. And she does, she learns how to eat, make money and tend to the house. When she is a naive early teenage girl she meets Tate, a boy that also grew up exploring the marsh. Tate becomes her companion and teaches her to read and write; skills she never learned having only gone to school one day in her life. They become close and eventually fall in love. He helps her learn more and more and develop her love of art and the marsh. This section of the book ends with Tate going off to school and never returning to Kya, reinforcing her feelings always being abandoned.
Simultaneous to the story of Kya’s upbringing being told, the story of a local murder is being told in flash forwards. The murder is of one of the town’s local golden boys. He is the son of a successful business owner and a former star quarterback. He is found dead in the marsh in the early morning of a late October day. Suspicion of murder is immediately put on the case. Throughout the flash forwards, the town’s sherif inch closer and closer to who they think has murdered the town’s golden boy, Chase Andrews.
Part 2 begins with Kya now being a young adult. She has become quite intelligent and started learning about everything pertaining to the marsh, ultimately becoming an expert. She begins creating paintings of all of the different creatures and life in the marsh and captioning the paintings with her observations of the subject matter. She ultimately becomes an award winning author once her paintings are turned into books. She also develops a new love interest, Chase, years after Tat has left her. They carry on a relationship for several years, but have very different views of what the outcome will be. Though their relationship developed into a very serious one in private, it is never acknowledged publicly. Chase will not introduce Kya to his friends or family or take her into town because she has become known as “the marsh girl.” These difference ultimately lead to their break-up. In the flash forwards, the investigation into Chase’s death continues with the sherif becoming more and more convinced that Kya has something to do with Chase’s death.
The two storylines of the book final come together when Kya is arrested for Chase’s murder. She is tried in a court of her peers, even though her attorney is worried about people being prejudiced against her. The trial is a tough one with a lot of long held prejudices and assumptions working against Kya. To find out what happens, you will have to read the book… I don’t want to ruin it!
What did I think?
I really liked it! I will admit it started out a bit slow for me. However, by the time I was about fifty pages in, I was hooked! I ended up finishing the rest of the book within two days of starting it! I thought it was well written and had an interesting story line. I like that the main character wasn’t your typical main character and had a lot of flaws that were apparent.
Would I recommend it? Yes! It is a great read!
Until next time, friends… CML