Book Review: Where the Crawdads Sing By Delia Owens

I can’t believe it’s taken me so long, but I have finally read Where the Crawdads Sing – so I am very pleased to bring you my review.

For years, rumors of the ‘Marsh Girl’ have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life – until the unthinkable happens.

I am more than a little late to the Where the Crawdads Sing party. My bestie loved this book, and insisted that we go and see the newly released film adaptation. Naturally I thought I should read the book first, which didn’t exactly go to plan.

So I really struggled when I first picked up this novel – after 10 days of reading, I went to see the movie having only finished Part One: The Marsh and I wasn’t sure if I would even be able to finish it. To say my friend was disappointed was an understatement. Add my inability to finish the book to the slew of negative movie reviews, we went to the cinema feeling a little dejected.

I am pleased to confirm however that you can confidently ignore the movie critics! I loved the film, it was an emotional watch, set against a stunning yet eerie backdrop. I cried, and I suddenly felt compelled to rush home and read Part 2: The Swamp! I was not disappointed – with a renewed enthusiasm I devoured the second half of this novel. Delia Owens descriptions of the swamp are hauntingly beautiful. The feeling of isolation flows from her words, pulling you into the marsh with Kya, the shunned marsh girl who against all odds survived the wilderness alone, with only nature for company. The characterisation is beautiful; as a mother my heart breaks for Kya as her childhood becomes increasingly isolated and lonely, and she has to grow up far too fast in order to survive.

A murder trial runs throughout this novel, but plays second fiddle to Kya’s story as she learns to survive and live in a wilderness that many much braver than she could not survive.

If you want a novel rich in atmosphere, haunting yet beautiful, with stunning characterisation, then this is the novel for you. If, like me, you had ignored the hype about this novel and just added the novel to your TBR pile – please pick it up and get reading. You won’t regret it!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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