I honestly don’t know what took me so long to read this book, because I have been hearing about it for months. But then again, sometimes when I hear so much about a book, it makes me not want to read it. It makes my expectations a bit too high, which usually results in disappointment. Well, I can happily say that such was not the case with this beautifully written book.
Where The Crawdads Sing is a story about a young girl named Kya growing up in the outskirts of Barkley Cove, a rural, coastal North Carolina town, in the 1950s and 1960s. Kya was abandoned by her family as a small child, and the story depicts her life after she is left to survive in a small cabin alongside a marsh, alone. The narrative moves back and forth between Kya’s childhood and a murder trial taking place in the same town in 1970, after a local man is found dead. Kya, who is misunderstood by those living in the town, is suspected of murder.
Simply put, Where the Crawdads Sing is one of the most beautifully written books that I have ever read. It is a story about loneliness, hope, love, belonging, and prejudice. It is a story about nature, and about how we, as humans, interact with those things that are perceived as “wild.” The intricate descriptions of the North Carolina marsh and coastal landscape brought me back to summers spent in rural Alabama – in a town called Equality where the status quo is anything but equal.
Kya’s life story caused me to reflect on perceptions and judgement. How we can be so quick to judge others, without knowing their story. How we can form opinions on people, without knowing anything at all about them. This is something that I catch myself doing all the time, and it is something that I would really like to work on. This book shows how people are shaped by their history, and I think there is something strikingly beautiful about that.
Also, funnily enough, this book made me hungry. If you have ever spent any time in the southern US states, then you know how good the food is. There is nothing that you can’t fry, and it’s phenomenal. Biscuits (proper, fluffy American biscuits, not cookies), cobblers, pies, cornbread, grits, and fried green beans, to name a few delicacies. Yum. The way that Delia Owens described these foods made my mouth water. I am now looking forward to spending a week in South Carolina in November even more!
Please comment below if you have read this book, and let us know what you think!