Publication Info: Published August 14, 2018 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons. I read the Kindle edition, purchased from Amazon.com
Summary: When Kya is six years old, she watches her mother walk away. Most of her siblings drift away, too, unable to live any longer with their drunken, abusive father. Kya’s older brother sticks around just long enough to teach her some basic survival skills, then he, too, vanishes. Kya learns to live around her father, vanishing into the woods and marsh to avoid his beatings. After a while, he also takes off. Kya is now ten years old and all alone in the North Carolina marsh.
With the kindness and friendship of the few people she comes in contact with, Kya manages to eke out a living selling shellfish. She wanders, collecting feathers, shells and plants. She meets a boy a few years older than herself who teaches her to read and write. Tate is kind and patient, and a gentle, youthful romance blossoms between them. Kya no longer feels so alone.
But in the town, the adults scorn her and call her dirty “Marsh Girl”. The group of popular kids think it’s fun sport to frighten Kya. When one of them takes things too far, there are horrific consequences.
Comments: I finally gave up on waiting for Where the Crawdads Sing at the library and purchased a copy. It was worth every penny. The lyrical language and descriptions drew me into Kya’s environment. I heard the shore birds, felt the spray and salt on my skin, the humidity dampening my hair. The author obviously knows how to write about natural settings. But the characters are what really pulled me deeply into the novel. They just felt so real. I read this book in a single day. I just couldn’t put it down.
Highly recommended for readers of Literary Fiction
Note: This book is not a mystery or historical fiction. Those are misleading genre labels. It has a bit of a mystery in it with some courtroom drama, but that is not its essence. The time period is 1940’s-present day. The time period is there not to emphasize historical facts. but to give credence to the story.
My rating: 5 STARS