From the Jacket
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.
My second read of 2020! And it couldn’t have come more highly recommended. There isn’t much I can say about WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING that hasn’t already been said. Basically, this is not my usual cup of tea and I’m certain I would not have picked it up without millions of people having loved it before me, but I did actually enjoy it and I’m glad I *finally* read it!
“She knew the years of isolation had altered her behavior until she was different from others, but it wasn’t her fault she’d been alone. Most of what she knew, she’d learned from the wild. Nature had nurtured, tutored, and protected her when no one else would.”
I would describe CRAWDADS as equal parts coming-of-age, mystery, and romance. A large part of the book revolves around Kya’s growing up learning to take care of herself, feed herself, and defend herself against the rich townspeople who think little of her. There’s a little romance, which I found sweet if not unrealistic, and some mystery in the end that leads to a “surprise” ending. I didn’t find the ending all too shocking–in fact I thought it was pretty obvious–but I still appreciate how Owens ties up her loose ends into a nice, pretty bow. And, of course, there is the heavy focus on nature throughout the novel that I loved; CRAWDADS is quite literally a story of nature vs. nurture, and Owens writes some particularly beautiful passages about the marsh and the creatures who inhabit it.
“She laughed for his sake, something she’d never done. Giving away another piece of herself just to have someone else.”
All in all, I’m not sure I 100% understand the hype behind CRAWDADS, but I still thought it was a good read! I’m definitely surprised by how much I ended up liking it because it was not at all what I was expecting. If you haven’t read it yet, I would definitely suggest giving it a try!