Very well written. This book totally immersed me within the first few pages. I was so taken aback on how much I felt I was in the marsh and hanging out with Kya, Tate and Jumpin'. I didn't want to leave. Even after finishing the book I had to go make me some beans and onions with some fried corn just to hold onto it a little more.
This one is definitely a keeper and will forever be remembered.
Beautifully written book. Story of a girl/woman growing up in the NC/SC coastal marsh area. Her family is poor and they live in a shack on the marshland. Story takes place through the late 50s and 60s. In the very first chapters we see her abusive, alcoholic father, her mother who leaves in the very beginning in an effort to save herself but leaves her 5 children behind, and then the older siblings who also leave. Kya, age 6, is left with her father who also abandons her in a few years. She had no contact with the outside world except for occasional trips to town to stock up on supplies and essentially raised herself. This seemed a little incredulous. But the emotions Kya feels of abandonment and loneliness are so sad and overwhelming and it really hit me.
After raising herself in the marsh and communing with nature - shells, birds, etc - she is taught to read by a friend of one of her brothers. Tate. They fall in love but Tate ends up abandoning her also to college and his immaturity. She then bumps into another town boy, Chase, and they fall in love. Both of these relationships begin with her loneliness and desire for human contact. But Chase also abandons her. Then Chase is dead and there is the other part of the story - trying to solve what may be a murder.
The chapters alternate between the story of Kya and the story of solving the murder. Of course the stories intertwine and Kya ends up on trial for murder. There is a happy ending. And then there is a surprise ending. I'm still not sure what I think about the surprise ending. There were clues along the way in comparisons to nature and relationships among male and female animals when mating (Kya's only knowledge source since she grew up alone and unable to witness human relationships) but I did not catch the clues. Overall, I think it works for the book. Very good book.
I finished Crawdads a few days ago, and believe it will be one of the books of the year. Images from that story still pop into my head. To think a woman who worked in Africa for many years and now lives in Idaho could write such a detailed, vibrant book of the NC marshes is just amazing. The swamps were alive, the characters perfectly drawn with no one over-colored. The storyline of a little girl surviving with the bare help of one man and his wife, and how she managed it was beyond interesting. Granted, she was as clever as all get out, and a quick learner, but how she survived is almost unbelievable, yet believable. The story itself was imaginative, the mystery intriguing, and so well woven that until the last few pages, I never guessed the whodunit!
I really hope you don't have to wait to get your copy of this beautiful book - I hope someone will give it to you as gift or something. I have been reading for probably over 60 years, and I do believe this book will be in my top 5!! It is mesmerizing. I can't even tell you what effect it has on your soul because it is so believable and touching.So very different from anything I have ever read.
Please, save your money and get this book.
Wow, a great book, just as I had been thinking that there weren't any novels worth reading.
Great characters, good story, surprise ending.
Young girl, abandoned by her family, grows up on her own in the swamp of North Carolina. Deserted by the town and looked down on, she lives her own life and gets the revenge she needs for all the pain they put her through. One of my favorites.