“Months passed, winter easing gently into place, as southern winters do. 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 whenever she stumbled, it was the land that caught her.”Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
I was a bit behind reading this, but I (along with almost all the reviews I’ve read!), very much enjoyed this book. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens begins in 1952, where we meet 6-year-old Kya, living in a shack with her family in the marshlands of North Carolina. Moving back and forth between two time periods, we get to know Kya as she grows up and experiences abandonment, neglect, and poverty, but also friendship and a growing love and understanding of the environment around her. But in the present day of 1969, a devastating event occurs that threatens to destroy everything that Kya knows.
This book is a real page-turned, and I completed it in just a few sittings, having been so drawn in. I know all books need a plot, and this one kept me gripped to the end, but my favourite thing about the novel were the descriptions – of nature, of the various interlinked communities and their ways of life, the food! I wasn’t surprised to see that Delia Owens is a zoologist and award-winning nature writer – I think she spoke to the science editor in me! I would recommend this book to all, but particularly if you enjoy coming-of-age stories with some courtroom drama thrown in, and beautiful nature writing. Plus a good cameo from a courtroom cat!