Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
I am torn between falling entirely in love or being utterly disappointed by this book.
Let’s see; Kya thinks herself not worthy of love. Everyone around her finally leaves. No matter how much they promise to be there for her, she can always count on the fact that she will forever be alone.
When she was little, her mother left the deadly fangs of her drunkard and super abusive father. She never came back. Soon after, her elder three siblings would leave the abusive shack of a home in the marsh, and Kya was left with one of her brothers and their father. But it wouldn’t last long because her brother, with whom she was close to and trusted, would also leave.
Her father would become her only left relative. He teaches her how to fish, and for a while, he is good to Kya. He stops drinking. Finally, she has a reliable father figure. But he would soon go back to default settings and finally disappears, never to be seen.
And she has to survive on her own, in the marsh. Luckily, a lovely couple treats her like their own while the rest of the town looks down on her. Her fishing skills come in handy as she sells morsels to survive.
But as she grows, Kya makes friends, well, or what passes as friends. One is a local boy, Tate, who teaches her to read and write. But he soon leaves, too. Then, she gets into a relationship with a rich kid from town, Chase Andrews. Chase, of course, is after Kya as a conquest, and she later learns that he is engaged to one of the ladies she has seen him with.
And because the world believes in the power of scorned love, Kya becomes the prime suspect of Chase Andrew’s murder a few years later.
First, I loved the beautiful descriptions of Kya, her environment, her acute knowledge of everything around her, and the will to survive despite everything. In fact, I was happy to see Kya putting her skills into work and publishing several books, despite never having set foot in a class (not counting that one-time caseworkers put her in school).
But there are times I struggled with the language, and some scenes were just bordering on cliches. While this is a work of fiction, it is also hard to believe that a 6/7-year-old girl would live on her own in an abandoned shack in the marsh, feed for herself, and do everything that Kya did.
The plotline also did lack some convictions. For instance, reconciling the courtroom and the book’s ending, I am still having a hard time with all of it. Worse still, it looks out of character for the protagonist. I have been thinking about every scenario that would make that ending make sense, and nope, it is not working. It has been a week since I finally flipped the final page.
Now you see why I am having a hard time falling entirely in love with this book.
My ★ Rating 3.5
Goodreads ★ Rating 4.46 (as of August 2021)