Spoiler-Free Review: Where The Crawdads Sing

“Just like their whiskey, the marsh dwellers bootlegged their own laws”

Author: Delia Owens

Chase Andrews fell from the old fire tower… or was he pushed? As the sheriff investigated the strange death, he discovers a connection between the local girl “Marsh Girl” and Chase. No one knows the marsh better than Kya, the “Marsh Girl,” but does she know it well enough to kill a man without leaving a trace? Will Kya be locked up for murder? or will she stay in the marsh she loves, free and wild, where the crawdads sing?

Kya is a very nice change of pace from the super competent female protagonist of many novels you get these days. Kya is a character living with trauma. She both craves and fears human connection. She wants to love and be loved, but her life experience has taught her that other people will only hurt and abandon her.

Kya’s was abused / neglected/ abandoned by her whole family. Pa was abusive, Ma walked out, her older siblings runaway from home. While Pa was good to Kya sometimes, he never cared enough to take her to school, buy her shoes, or teach her to read. Then one day, he went out drinking, and never came home. Kya is a lot like a wild animal, acting on instinct and withdrawing in fear. It’s exactly what a child who raised themselves would be like.

The murder mystery was the weakest part for me. I knew the truth of how Chase died VERY early on in the story. Still, it was a great narrative device to drive the plot forward.

There is a reason this book was so popular and it was quickly turned into a movie. Owens knocked it out of the park with her first novel! It is well worth the read.

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