By: Delia Owens
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
Publication Date: August 2018
Reviewed by: Jennifer Rearick
Kya has always been known to the townspeople as the marsh girl or marsh trash. Growing up in marsh land off the coast of North Carolina with her parents and older siblings, she never had much interaction with anyone outside of her family. Her father spends his days doing one of two things - drinking or taking out his anger on his family. When Kya was six, her mother walked out and never came back. Kya's siblings stayed for a little while, but eventually they all left as well. From that point on, it was just Kya and her father.
Although she lived with her father, at times Kya would go days without seeing him. Through this she learned that the only peaceful way to live with her father was to not cross paths. One morning, while her father was gone, Kya decided to take the family boat out. Unfortunately, it didn't take long before she was lost. Eventually she asked a boy who she passed a couple times if he knew where she lived. This boy, Tate, showed her the way home and soon they were fast friends.
By the time Kya was ten, her father rarely came home and eventually he stopped coming home altogether. From this point on, Kya was truly on her own. In order to care for herself, Kya started collecting mussels and selling them to Jumpin', the man she bought supplies and gas from. This turned out to be a great way from her to take care of herself.
As Kya continued to fend for herself and live on her own, she also spent time with Tate, the boy who helped her when she was lost. They eventually became more than just friends, until Tate graduated from high school. Kya was devastated when she found out he would be going off to college. Before Tate left, he promised Kya that he would come back to see her on his breaks, but that never happened. Kya was devastated and didn't want to get close to anybody else, until she met Chase...
Chase promised Kya the world. He promised they would get married, find a house and start a family. Kya was over the moon until she found out that Chase was set to marry someone else. Although Chase wanted to continue seeing Kya, Kya never wanted to see him again.
After cutting ties with Chase, things seemed to be going well for Kya. That was until Chase turned up dead and Kya become the lead suspect in his murder. Although Kya has an appointed attorney, who is trying to prove her innocence, Kya offers no information to help her case. Soon it seems that Kya will be convicted of Chase's murder.
Where the Crawdads Sing is an emotional rollercoaster. You feel horrible for the little seven-year-old who has to fend for herself. Although you're happy that she finds a way to carry on by herself, it's sad that she has to. As Kya gets older, and makes a friend, you think that things are going to get better, but again things change and you're back to feeling horrible for Kya. Author Delia Owens did an excellent job creating a protagonist who comes to life and the reader cares for, while also creating suspense that keeps the pages turning. This is definitely an interesting book that is hard to put down.
Quill says: If you want a mystery with heartbreak and sympathy, this is the book for you.