There’s been a lot of hype about this book and now after reading it, I can say it lived up to all of those great things.
I posted an Instagram story with three new books I got, Where the Crawdads Sing being one of them. More than a dozen people responded saying how much they loved this book or how quickly they had turned through the pages, soaking up the story.
I will admit the plot was a little slow in the beginning, but the narrative drew me in from the first page and I knew it was going to be one of those books that kept me up at night, my eyes heavy but still turning through the pages.
Readers meet Kya a young girl in the marsh of the Carolinas that slowly gets abandoned by her entire family. Her Ma up and walks out on her abusive husband and slowly four of her five children leave the marsh behind her, forgetting to take their six year old sister. Eventually her dad leaves too and Kya is forced to raise herself alone in the marsh with the gulls and herons. Not unlikely, everyone in the town refers to her as Marsh Girl.
Although she is just a young, abandoned child the townspeople see her as an outcast, “marsh trash”. I became angry several times throughout the book, “Someone help this little girl!!” But whenever social workers popped by or anyone else, Kya hid in the marsh, her social skills practically nonexistent, and eventually everyone gave up on her and left her to fend for herself.
Watching Kya grow up alone in the wilderness, lonely as can be, my heart broke for her and all the other individuals that get outcast because they’re dealt a crappy hand. Kya couldn’t change that her family left her behind, she could only do what she had to do to survive, and of course it made her different from everyone else. Kya’s story made me realize that we truly never know what some people have gone through to make them who they are.
Her loneliness was steady, except for the gulls and the marsh life, and it made me realize I only think I know what it’s like to be lonely.
But Kya makes do, alone in the marsh, digging mussels and frying fish to sell to Jumpin’ – her most true and consistent friend. Eventually, when she is older, she is able to publish her collections and research from marsh life and write and illustrate seven books.
I couldn’t help but fall in love with Kya and her determination to survive, despite all the odds being stacked against her.
As the book progresses, a murder investigation is introduced. The victim we learn is a crude male that shortly took an interest in Kya and was around only for a short while.
Of course, eventually, Kya is tried for his murder. I won’t spoil too much here, but the chapters on the murder trial were just as interesting as the poetic descriptions of the marsh.
Overall, I really loved this story, the language, and the theme of constant aloneness. If you’re looking for a good novel to lose yourself in and inhale the entire thing, here ya go!