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Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens (audiobook read by Cassandra Campbell)

My book club reviewed this the month before I joined so I decided to play catch up!
Kya Clark is abandoned by all those she loves. Her mother and siblings leave first then her father and friends. She leads a solitary life and is known derogatively as ‘the marsh girl’. Then, in 1969, she becomes the main suspect in a murder case and faces the death penalty…
Where the Crawdads Sing is a dual timeline novel set in America in the 1950s and 1960s as Kya grows from a girl to a woman, and then the murder investigation and trial in 1969 and 1970.
How much pain and despair can Kya cope with? I felt deeply for Kya during all parts of the book. She has been abandoned and betrayed by those she loves for her entire life. However, there are moments of hope and happiness to lighten the tone and soften the plot developments.
The descriptions are long and melodious. To be honest, I wasn’t convinced by the use of the word lagoon so many times in the opening chapter though! The voices put on by the narrator for different characters made me a little uncomfortable as they seemed to be stereotypical/caricatures of the Deep South accent which jarred slightly.
I felt a little disappointed by the ending a it did not live up to my expectations based on the earlier character arcs. I was convinced I had worked out the solution to the murder mystery and liked how I had thought the characters had finally rallied round Kya in her darkest hours. Unfortunately, the ending wasn’t what I expected so I was left saddened.
Where the Crawdads Sing is a beautifully written and emotional novel about love and loss.

Where the Crawdads Sing book cover

Book blurb
For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet fishing village. Kya Clark is barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when the popular Chase Andrews is found dead, locals immediately suspect her.
But Kya is not what they say. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life’s lessons from the land, learning the real ways of the world from the dishonest signals of fireflies. But while she has the skills to live in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world—until the unthinkable happens.
In Where the Crawdads Sing, Owens juxtaposes an exquisite ode to the natural world against a profound coming of age story and haunting mystery. Thought-provoking, wise, and deeply moving, Owens’s debut novel reminds us that we are forever shaped by the child within us, while also subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.
The story asks how isolation influences the behavior of a young woman, who like all of us, has the genetic propensity to belong to a group. The clues to the mystery are brushed into the lush habitat and natural histories of its wild creatures.

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