For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.
Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.
Stunning, wild, and beautiful. The author deserves all the praise for her sensitivity and deep love for Kya and the marshes of Barkley Cove, North Carolina. The attention to detail is astounding! A classic.
The audio book brought this complex tale to life. The narrator, with her different accents, was perfection. I can’t say enough about this magnificent and unforgettable tale of Kya and her life among the wild North Carolina marshes.
Alternating between Kya growing up in the 1950’s and the 1960’s when a murder is committed, this story weaves an almost magical tale. Kya’s parents abandoned her as a young child to fend for herself, something that she struggles with for the rest of her life. She is a shy, sensitive but smart and inquisitive child, who grows up to be an expert on the flora and fauna of marsh life. She is keenly attuned to swamp life, and can never quite conform the everyday life of other people.
“Kya laid her hand upon the breathing, wet earth, and the marsh became her mother.”
Kya has a few people who reach out to her throughout her life, and eventually she learns to read and write, but without the benefit of formal schooling. The locals tease her and this makes her retreat further into herself. Eventually she opens up a little to other human beings, but life is hard and Kya’s heart is broken over and over again.
…”lot of times love doesn’t work out. Yet even when it fails, it connects you to others and, in the end, that is all you have, the connections.”
I don’t know why I put off reading this book for so long! It is now one of my all-time favorites. The characters are all unforgettable and the descriptions of life in the South in the 1950’s and 1960’s are all sharply accurate. But of course it is the absolutely gorgeous description of the North Carolina marsh that I will never forget. The author is a gifted biologist who made the marsh come alive for me. I adored the audio book and highly recommend the audio for this story. I began to understand how Kya could never quite leave her beloved marsh home, even for the simplest of comforts that other people take for granted. The ending was absolutely stunning and I think I am ready for a re-read!
“There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot.”