Usually when I am not writing, I have a book in my hand. One novel I finished recently stayed in my mind for its touching beauty and memorable characters. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens made such an impression that I wanted to share it with you in this review.
Imagine growing up in a secluded marsh area off of a small North Carolina coastal town of Barkley Cove. Life for Kyla Clark was not typical or easy living in such poor conditions with an abusive, alcoholic father. At a very early age, she watches her family disintegrate starting with her mother to each one of her siblings until she is the only one left.
Her world further crumbles when her father soon abandons her. Nature and the beauty surrounding her are her only friends living alone in isolation. The people in the nearest town consider her unfit in their company. This pathetic plight and struggle to survive became all Kyla knew.
However, Kyla has learned early on how to be resourceful despite her lack of education. She began selling mussels to a local black merchant and learning to read when a neighbor boy, a former friend of her brother’s (Tate) starts to teach her.
Instead of what she accomplishes, she is scorned by the residents of the nearby small town as the wild, uneducated “Marsh Girl.” Her only friends were the kindly black couple (Jumpin’ and Mabel) that helped her survive with funds, clothes and advice and Tate that kept supplying her with textbooks and attention as she grows into a beautiful, sensitive young woman and naturalist and later published expert.
As the reader experiences her difficult challenges that were thrown upon her as she longs for love and company, you also feel her uncertainty and pain of rejection from first love and the community. However, the local football star notices her wild beauty and becomes involved with her for a few years, promising marriage and yet marrying another without a word.
When the handsome young man, Chase Andrews, is found dead and possibly a victim of murder after a fall, all fingers point to the “Marsh Girl”even though she was out of town meeting with her publisher.
Despite real evidence, Kayla is arrested and put on trial through this moving story to clear her name. The indignities that she suffered and the surprises that came after made it a riveting read in the way it touched the heart and the questions it posed about human nature.
I really enjoyed Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens that I had to bring it to your attention with a review. If you get a chance, I suggest getting a hold of this one!