Book Review of Where the Crawdads Sing

Where the Crawdads Sing
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I heard about this book from an article on the CBS Sunday Morning Show about Delia Owens and her best-selling novel. After seeing this, I reserved the book at the library and finally after waiting a few months, I was able to read this wonderful story. It is a very memorable novel that is in part a coming of age story, a murder mystery, a courtroom drama, and a love story all rolled into one.

The book alternates in time starting in 1952 and tells the story of Kya Clark, known to the locals on the Carolina coast as the Marsh Girl. Kya was abandoned by her mother at a young age when her mother could no longer take the abuses of her husband. Then after her mother leaves, Kya's brothers and sisters also take flight leaving Kya alone in a shack on the edge of the marsh with her monster of a father who also eventually disappears leaving Kya on her own. But Kya has one friend, Tate, a local son of a shrimp fisherman, who takes an interest in Kya and even teachers her to read. But Kya mostly stays to her self collecting bird feathers and other fauna and flora of the marsh which she eventually becomes an expert in. And then Tate goes off to college and Kya is once again abandoned. But someone else comes into her life, the local football hero, Chase Andrews, who winds up dead at the bottom of an old fire tower in 1969.

The book alternates between Kya's life growing up and the death of Chase including how the local police tend to believe that he was murdered and eventually decide that Kya is the prime suspect. But could she have done this? The story really had a lot going for it including a great cast of characters including Kya and Tate as well as some of the other locals such as Jumpin', an older African American who traded with Kya for gasoline for her boat and other necessities. The backdrop of the story was also more than interesting, set in the marshes of the Carolina coast, the story is full of descriptions of the nature of the area and really makes the reader a part of the locale. This includes "way out yonder, where the crawdads sing..." A very high recommendation for this one!