Where The Crawdads Sing
Where The Crawdads Sing by American zoologist Delia Owens took me deep into the heart of somewhere I’d never been before. I’m not just talking the North Carolina coastline here, I’m talking copious marshland, eyeball to eyeball with nature’s bugs and human beasts.
The blurb on the back cover would have one believe that this captivating, fascinating debut novel is a coming-of-age story-cum-possible murder mystery. I beg to differ.
Sure, this novel is about a child becoming a woman and is also a whodunnit. But those plot lines take seats several rows behind the collection of characters. The setting. The emotional pulse within the novel. And the interesting stuff one learns about wildlife along the way.
For most of the 370 pages, I sat alongside Kya as we travelled along in her boat. I heard the sounds of the gulls she befriended, looked into the eyes of the critters she drew, smelled the swamp through her nostrils. When we ventured into town, my temper flared at the prejudices of those who refused to treat her with common decency. And I grew to love those firmly on her side.
Truth be told, I didn’t read this book; I listened to it. For hour after hour, I allowed the lilting voice of the narrator Cassandra Campbell to carry me away. Then, when we were done, I went straight out and bought a hard copy. Because this is a book I need on my shelf. To dip into. Whenever I feel the urge to nip back to North Carolina.
To go for a ride in an old boat along a river in an overgrown marsh.
Quote from Where The Crawdads Sing:
“The sun, warm as a blanket, wrapped Kya’s shoulders, coaxing her deeper into the marsh. Sometimes she heard night-sounds she didn’t know or jumped from lightning too close, but whoever she stumbled, it was the land that caught her. Until at last, at some unclaimed moment, the heart-pain seed away like water into sand. Still there, but deep. Kya laid her hand upon the breathing, wet earth, and the marsh became her mother.”