Rating: 2.5/5 Stars
Genre(s): Mystery, literary fiction
All over my social media people were raving about Where the Crawdads Sing. I went to place this book on hold from the library and 8 months later, I finally got it. After waiting so long and hearing how amazing it was, I couldn’t wait to begin.
Then I couldn’t wait for it to end.
This story follows Kya Clark from a young girl to an adult woman. Her story begins in 1952, in the Marsh along North Carolina. Here we quickly learn of her father’s abuse and how her mother and all her siblings have run away, one by one, leaving Kya alone with the drunk. Until finally he leaves and never returns too.
Kya, now all alone, begings to fish and gather mussels and brings them to Jumpin’ and Mabel, a black couple who own a gas station for boats. They take her goods and in return, give her gas and money. They also teach her how to garden and even give her clothing that fits her as she grows.
As Kya ages, she faces extreme prejudice from the townspeople who give her the nickname “Marsh Girl”. Even the pastor’s wife joins in on the ridicule by calling her “filthy” and “nasty”. However, Tate Walker, one of her brother’s old friends, remains kind to her. He begins to leave her feathers from rare birds and teaches her to read and write. Soon, a romance blooms between them. Then Tate leaves for college without saying goodbye, realizing this strange Marsh Girl could not fit in his new life, and leaves Kya broken hearted.
A few years later, Kyra, now nineteen, meets Chase Andrews. Now, this man is trash and we can see it from day one. However, they begin to date until Chase tries to rape her. Yep, stellar man…
More years pass and Chase Andrews is found dead. The sheriff arrests Kya for the murder of Andrews, despite there being circumstantial evidence at best. Then begins the murder trial.
The biggest issue I had with this story is that it took forever. It went on and on and on until it finally got to the meat. Honestly, the plot wasn’t much of a plot.
One thing I did appreciate about this book was the poetry throughout and the great imagery of nature. The writing often focused less on the story and more on the scenery. It really felt like you were in the heat and among the many noises of the Marsh. Owens truly paints the picture.
If you like scenery driven books and a prose centered writing style, then you’ll probably enjoy this book. However, if you’re here for amazing characters and an action packed plot, you’ll hate this story. Although, I’m thankful it got me through a six hour road trip with my two children, I wouldn’t read it again and it definitely won’t be a book I think the recommend.