Against a backdrop of North Carolina’s lush marshes, a little girl, Catherine “Kya” Clark, grows up alone in Where the Crawdads Sing. Delia Owens explores many basic human emotions with this “Marsh Girl” in the rundown shack. The romance depicts falling in love, juxtaposed with heartache, abandonment, and betrayal.
Kya emerges larger than life, growing up in the 50s and 60s of Barkley Cove, a remote North Carolina coastal community. Kya learns to be self-sufficient from age six. Her mother abandoned her to flee from her abusive, drunken husband, but her father eventually disappeared. Kya is left to survive even in the face of loss, discrimination, and torment. It’s never easy as an outsider, particularly with the challenges she faces.
What Challenges Does Kya Face?
You follow Kya’s story in Where the Crawdads Sing. The flow of the novel allows you to feel like you’re right there with her. Can she trust anyone? When all Kya has known is loss, she must decide whether opening her heart is worth the risk, as she deals with discrimination and torment from the local townspeople. Against all odds, she survives.
Kya is immersed in shifting tides and the interplay of light, with a fascination about insects and birds. She develops a friendship with Tate Walker as he teaches her how to read, and they grow up together. It’s a coming-of-age story with a twist as it evolves into dramatic mystery and murder. With such a tragic upbringing, the swamp comes to life for Kya.
What Mystery Arises?
The coming-of-age story turns into a 1969 murder investigation. After all, Kya’s former lover, Chase Andrews, turns up dead. He’s a popular young man, and Kya is a prime suspect. So the local police officers put her on trial for the murder.
Consider suspending some disbelief with the novel. You may fall in love with the novel if you look beneath the surface and let your hesitation go.