Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is the perfect pick for a delicious summer reading experience. Here’s my Heartspoken book review.
Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Reviewed by Elizabeth H. Cottrell 5 stars out of 5
This amazing book checked all the boxes of top-quality fiction for me:
- exquisite writing
- vivid, well-drawn characters
- a fast-paced story with exciting elements of mystery and danger
- the satisfying emotions of love, hope, and redemption
Right off the bat, the author’s lyrical and rich descriptions of the coastal marsh are the kind readers crave and to which writers aspire:
“…slow-moving creeks wander, carrying the orb of the sun with them to the sea, and long-legged birds lift with unexpected grace—as though not built to fly—against the roar of a thousand snow geese.”
Don’t you just feel like you’re there, experiencing that incredible scene? The marsh is almost a character itself, wild and mysterious and powerfully beautiful.
Kya is a dubbed the Marsh Girl by her unkind tormenters. Born in an isolated cabin in the coastal marsh of North Carolina, she escapes into the wild to get away from her father’s abusive rages caused by PTSD and fueled by alcohol. Her mother flees, seemingly abandoning 5-year-old Kya and her four older siblings. One by one the siblings escape too, leaving Kya utterly alone to deal with her father and his demons.
The story alternates between that time in 1952 when her mother left and the year 1969 when the body of Chase Andrews is discovered at the base of an old fire tower in the swamp. As the book progresses, the reader discovers how these two lives—Kya’s and Chase’s—intersect. We also learn how Kya, who was taught to read by Tate, was able to combine her love of words with her meticulous study of swamp wildlife to become a true authority, albeit without formal education. She and Tate become fierce protectors of their beloved ecosystem.
Besides the author’s remarkable descriptive skill, she shows a depth of knowledge about the spectrum of human emotion in her characters’ behavior and dialogue. It all rings true.
“But loneliness has a compass of its own…”
“Biology sees right and wrong as the same color in different light.”
In expressing the impact of reading poetry for the first time, Kya says to Tate (in her swamp dialect, “I wadn’t aware that words could hold so much. I didn’t know a sentence could be so full.”
My heart was full when I finished this book. What better endorsement for a book to enrich the #HeartspokenLife.
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