Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Yay or nay: Yay a million times.
Let me tell you something funny. I really hated this book because it made me cry so much. Not exaggerating, from start to finish I was in tears. There is such a beauty in the sadness of this novel, the way it’s told, the natural style of the writing being so elegant and pure. Delia Owens does something remarkable here: she tells a sad story in the best and highly enjoyable way. There’s no emotional porn in this book, it’s plain and elegant- maybe that’s why I loved it. The protagonist, a female, is always strong and independent.
This novel is basically the story of Kya. When she is barely 5 or 6, Kya lives in North Carolina marshes with her family. They live in a shack, isolated from civilization. The disease of the family is Pa, who drinks himself away, and the burden is on their mother’s shoulders. One day mother walks away. Kya spends the rest of her life instinctively believing her mum will come back. It broke my heart to read it, but as I said, it never becomes cringe, so natural and aesthetic. Starting from mid 50s and reaching to 60s, Owen tells Kya growing up, filling the absence of people who abandon her with marshes and nature, learning “how to be” all by herself. Her loneliness is devastating, but her will to survive is equally mesmerising
In parallel to Kya’s coming of age story, the novel goes back and forth to 1969- a guy called Chase Andrews is found dead near a fire tower which leads to a murder investigation.
An unstoppable read, I melted into the story line and the pages absorbed me as I absorbed this beautiful book. Sat down on Friday night to finish it in a sitting. I was mesmerised.
The only thing I could fault was the dialogue with grown up and teenage Kya. For a person almost alone and away from people all her life, I found her speech too normal, too street smart (she knew too much about life she hasn’t lived! Don’t want to say too much and give spoilers) But that’s the reason of 4.5 stars and not 5.
Where the Crawdads sing is storming the Bookstagram and especially friends in States were posting so much about it, so I am glad they did and inspired me to read this book.
I would recommend this novel to everyone, grab it one night and enjoy in one sitting.