Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens / ★★★★☆
Kya knew judgment had no place here. Evil was not in play, just life pulsing on, even at the expense of some of the players. Biology sees right and wrong as the same color in different light.
This book had its obvious imperfections, but I still found it to be a compelling, entertaining read. About Kya, the “Marsh Girl,” who was abandoned by her family at a very young age, we follow her as she grows up in isolation in a North Carolina marsh. The book opens with with the death of Chase Matthews, former star quarterback, in the marsh.
This is a slow read, and as slow as it was I never really found myself bored, but because it’s about a girl living by herself in the marsh, it can feel a little stifling. Still, I found that worked for it. It alternates between the past as we watch Kya growing up, and the present, as investigators try to solve the mystery of Chase Matthews’ death. I thought it helped pace the book well and gave us a little reprieve from Kya’s solitary world. I found this book compelling and unique, upsetting and frustrating at times, but overall not as dark as I expected it to be. Once I finished it, I had an “I see what you did there” moment when I fully understood how the author tied all the elements she used in this book together. To say anything would be to spoil it, but while I didn’t find perhaps as shocking as it meant to be, I thought it was satisfyingly clever.