“I wasn’t aware that words could hold so much. I didn’t know a sentence could be so full.”Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing, page 103
Even though Where the Crawdads Sing was actually published last August it seems to be the book of this summer to read. I actually received the recommendation of reading this particular book when I was out at the dog park with Bailey. I tend to get nosy when I see someone reading because you never know, they may be reading something that you never knew existed and it turns out to be a favorite. This holds true with this story.
It took me a few chapters to really get into the groove of the book but I’m glad that I stuck with it. Once I got to about chapter 7 (they’re pretty short chapters) I couldn’t put the book down as I really wanted to get to know Kya more with each page as well as secretly hoping that she would end up with Tate as he was such a sweet boy to her. I loved when he took the time to teach her how to read which then turned into an obsession of learning for her and reading anything she could. This allowed her to learn more about where she was growing up as she lived her entire life in the marsh.
What the townsfolk of Barkley Cove put her through all because she lived outside of their standards made me feel for Kya, made me want to hate those that were so mean to her. To me, that makes for a good book. If you can’t feel for your characters, relate to them in some way, and connect with them then you’re just reading words and not actually enjoying what was written. But of course, Tate did say to Kya when she read her first sentence, “Not all words hold that much.” However, with this book, the words hold quite a bit within them. The ending though, that made me laugh out loud. I was slightly surprised by it, but in a way, I knew deep down what the truth was.
About Where the Crawdads Sing
Chase Andrews is found dead and the first person that comes to mind as the murderer is that of Kya Clark, the Marsh Girl of Barkley Cove. Or at least the townsfolk believe it to be her all because she was different from them. Uneducated, dresses poorly, doesn’t say much of anything, and next to nothing to her name.
From a very young age Kya was left by one family member after another until all that stuck around was her father. However, he didn’t stick around long either after the others had left, walking off one day to never come back, leaving Kya to fend for herself. She learned quickly what it takes to survive, and at a much earlier age than any child should have to. The marsh was her home and it comforted her. She lived among the birds and the bugs, the water and the trees. Whenever she had to go into Barkley Cove she didn’t stay long and only went in when she ran out of grits and had to visit the Piggly Wiggly to get more. Eventually, she just started to take her dad’s old boat out to Jumpins’ to get gas and whatever else she needed so she wouldn’t have to step foot into town, or near any of those that considered her under them.
Eventually her and Tate, one of the boys from Barkley Cove that she always saw out fishing in the marsh surroundings, started spending time together on an almost daily basis. He took the time to teach Kya how to read and speak properly, bringing her books from the school and library, allowing her to teach herself about her surroundings more and allowing her to find her love of science. However, after a few years of being together, it was time for Tate to head off to college and even though he promised her that he would be back for her, he never came back.
So Chase Andrews moved in to make his move on Kya. It went well between the two of them for a while with Chase talking about marriage with her and making a life together. But then, on October 30, 1969, Chase Andrews was found at the bottom of the old fire tower with a head wound and some broken limbs. Before the marsh could hide him away, which it would have done eventually, two boys came across his body and alerted the rest of the town. And according to the town, the Marsh Girl was to blame.
A list of Delia Owen’s books can be found on her site here – Book List