In the quiet town on the North Carolina Coast, Kya Clark has always been an outcast, she has always been different and the people in town refer to her as the “Marsh Girl.”
Kya understands that she is different and she has little desire to prove anyone wrong. She lives out in a shack in the marsh and has had little contact with the outside world. She was left there by her family when she was young and was forced to fend for herself. She had to learn to cook, to keep up with her home and to be completely alone. But, in Kya’s mind, she isn’t alone. She spends her days in the marsh watching and learning from the nature that surrounds her. She develops the most incredible understanding of the ecosystem that she spends her life observing.
“Sometimes she heard night-sounds she didn’t know or jumped from lightning too close, but whenever she stumbled, it was the land who caught her. Until at last, at some unclaimed moment, the heart-pain seeped away like water into sand. Still there, but deep. Kya laid her hand upon the breathing, wet earth, and the marsh became her mother.”
As Kya grows older, she begins to change and wants to have human contact, she wants to be touched and most importantly she wants to be loved. Everything seems to change when two, very different, boys from town become interested in her; Kya begins to open up her heart to the idea a new life. But, something happens that turns her world upside-down and she is forced to retreat back into her secluded world in the marsh.
While this novel by Delia Owens did have a mystery to it. Where the Crawdads Sing was so much more to me. It was about a young girl and her journey to adulthood, overcoming setbacks that would have caused any “regular” person to quit. My heart broke for the little girl who watched as everyone left her. I was fully immersed in this story and truly felt for her. However, Kya is such a strong person and against all odds to makes the best of her situation- I don’t think there are many people out there who could survive all that she endured and still be able to appreciate the world that they live in.
This novel also served as a lesson for me. It taught me that it is okay to be alone, it is okay to be different and most importantly it taught me to never lose the childlike wonder for the nature around us. Thank you, Delia Owens, for transporting me through the marshes of North Carolina and feeling as if I, too, were wandering through the waters with Kya.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book. You won’t be disappointed.