This book was incredible. I didn't really know what to expect when I began reading this, I had heard so many amazing reviews so I was anticipating a good read (however I often find that books that are hyped about I don't enjoy as much, so I was a little apprehensive), but it was amazing. The writing is so beautiful and the novel superseded all expectations I had.
Like many others who read this, I fell in love with Kya (the protagonist) and her story. I will try my best to not include spoilers (haha), but I became invested in her fictional life; it was like I felt her emotions through the writing. I was so bitterly angry at her siblings, at her mum, and at her "pa" but I understood why her siblings and mum had to do what they did. Her "pa" however, I don't think I'll ever forgive him for the way he drove everyone around Kya out when she was still so young. The themes of abandonment are dealt in extremely creative, emotional, and poignant ways, demonstrating the lasting effects that it has on later life and Kya's reluctance to form relationships later on in life.
The author, Delia Owens, is a zoologist and opened "The Owens Foundation for Wildlife Conservation ". You can really tell that she loves nature and the creatures in the wild that many people will never notice. It is really reflected in the writing and made this book so enjoyable. It also helped make Kya unique. The 'marsh' is Kya, and Kya is the 'marsh'. These two beings are intertwined in this novel and it is written so perfectly. The constancy of nature was a reoccurring motif throughout the novel and acted as a comfort to both Kya and me as a reader.
The plot is amazing. I have no other words. Amazing.
Tate. Is. The. Best. I wanted to punch him at times and I may or may not have muttered "coward" under my breath a few times during reading but it makes him a well-rounded character. Owens doesn't shy away from allowing characters to have flaws and it's what makes these characters so well written and allows you to be invested in them. But despite his occasional cowardice he does atone for this both before and after I wanted to leap into my book and knock some sense into him! He is a constant for Kya, always being there for her when she needs him even if she won't admit it; he never gave up on her and was her biggest supporter.
Jumpin' is the most comforting character in the whole novel. I'm going to leave it at that. Read the book and you'll know that he just encompasses the feeling of comfort and encouragement that Kya needs.
Moreover, I like the timeline of this story. I'm not always a fan of chapters jumping between different times but it worked so well for this novel; as a part of the present unfolded, there was almost a justification or an insight offered by the past.
The twist... I didn't see coming. It is revealed on last few pages of the novel, something which diverts from other plot twist which generally have action after them, but it felt right to have it there, it allowed Kya's story to be completed in a way synonymous with the rest of the novel.
For years, rumours of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life - until the unthinkable happens. Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Celeste Ng, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.
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