Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
"Their togetherness tugged at her loneliness..." p.150
Ohhhh I have been putting off writing this review because gosh, there was much to think about it after I finished Where the Crawdads Sing. Namely, did I love it as much as I wanted to or felt I "should" because everyone else did? This always lingers in the back of my mind when I've finished a book that is popular and trending (Reese book club!).
What I LOVED about this book was the feeling I had while reading it. I truly was able to place myself in the story, walking through the marsh and lingering on the water listening to the sounds of nature. Delia Owens gives us as setting in this book that cannot be compared.
What I really found most interesting, once I had thought about the story for a few days, was how this specific setting played as a parallel for the loneliness Kya felt, for her whole life in a lot of ways. Loneliness is the underlying thread throughout this story and for me, nothing achieved that better than the marsh Kya called home.
"I have to do life alone. But I knew this. Ive know a long time that people don't stay." p. 212
Kya's life evolved outside of those that were able to touch hers briefly. I think those parts of the story (Tate, Chase, her brother) were the hardest for me. Whenever she was able to feel close to someone, they ultimately left her. And when she was finally able to be bring Tate back into her life, she still wasn't able to give him her entire self. Holding a secret inside as big as hers would never allow that to happen.
What I had a hard time with was the switch from Kya's lonely marsh life into the town/courtroom scenes. It felt unnatural after reading her story in one setting for most of the entire book. For me, the entire last 1/4 of the books felt sort of rushed- events moved quickly, through time and even jumping so far ahead (albeit happily!) felt strange to me. I think, personally, I sat myself down in that marsh (as a reader) and didn't really want to leave. Everything from the courtroom on gave me a different feel for Kya as a person, who she was interacting with others, etc and I just really had a hard time bridging that jump!
I would recommend this book, not just for its popularity (which doesn't have to be a bad thing, it means you have more people to hopefully discuss this with!) but because of the story it tells. Kya is such a unique character and her life in the marsh is one I won't forget any time soon.
Thank you Delia Owens, for writing this gem of a book!