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.
Madison - 4 Star
I had been hearing a lot of praise about this novel and thankfully it did not disappoint. Where the Crawdads Sing is set in Barkley Cove, a small quiet town on the North Carolina coast. The protagonist is Kya Clark, known by the townspeople as “Marsh Girl”. When she is six years old her Mother walks away and slowly the rest of her family leaves until she is left to fend for herself.
There are several heartbreaking moments in this novel as Kya deals with being abandoned by her family, though the author does a good job of exploring the reasons behind this abandonment. Kya is a refreshingly strong female protagonist that even when being stubborn you find yourself always rooting for.
I found myself completely immersed in the descriptive nature writing in this novel with elegant prose and sweeping descriptions of the marsh and its wildlife. It felt fitting in light of the current climate crisis to have a main character that is literally raised by Mother Nature, and who is deeply grateful for her surrounding environment. Parallel to Kya's story of survival is also a mystery around the death of a town legend and golden boy Chase Andrews. I don't know that this novel would satisfy hardcore mystery fans, it is definitely a great combination of mystery, nature writing and historical fiction.
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