THE PLOT: Where the Crawdads Sing is the story of Kya aka the Marsh Girl. Growing up in poverty in 40’s North Carolina, she’s abandoned by her family and lives alone in a Marshland shack. Fending for herself, she comes to love the creatures of the marsh and becomes fascinated with nature. However, when all star quarterback Chase Andrews is found dead, the wild Marsh Girl is an easy suspect.
RATING: This is a beautiful novel, filled with rich descriptions of nature. I’ve given it four and a half stars because I was truly transported to the marsh. In amongst the wild landscape, the character of Kya as a wild, free child was magical. I instantly fell in love with the young character and didn’t want to let her go. Weaving back and forth in time, the murder mystery aspect pulls the plot along but it’s the Kya and the Marsh that keeps the reader engaged.
GOOD BITS: This whole novel is pretty good but I particularly liked how the author made each sentence heavy with the atmosphere of the marsh. For example….
“Autumn was coming; the evergreens might not have noticed but the sycamores did.”
“The shack stood silent against the early stir of blackbird wings, as an earnest winter fog formed along the ground, bunching up against the walls like large wisps of cotton.”
My favourite aspect of this novel is the gorgeous writing.
NOT SO GOOD BITS: There’s an abrupt change in the novel when Kya grows up and there’s “the book” and “the land deed” (I’m trying not to give spoilers!). This felt a bit stark as her language and way of expressing herself changed. For me, Kya felt too adult too fast, and I don’t think all of the observations fit the character. This means I lost my passion for the character in the last quarter of the novel.
OVERALL: I knew I had to read this book when I saw it plastered all over Instagram, and I’m so thankful I did. It was definitely worth buying and I devoured it in a few days. Like everyone else on the ‘Gram, I’d definitely recommend this if you’re looking for an earthy, character driven novel with a heart-heavy lyrical quality.