I really wish I would have written this review fresh after reading this, as I’m a little rusty now since it’s been a few months, but Where The Crawdads Sing is an absolute essential to every reader’s list. PLUS – it was just confirmed Reese Witherspoon will be directing the movie adaption! Read about it here
Kya is known as “Marsh Girl” in her small, quiet town off the coast of North Carolina. She lives in the swampy area in a dusty old shack with a drunk of a father; her mother abandoned the family and her older siblings followed suit leaving just Kya and her father. Eventually, Kya’s father leaves her to dig deep into her survival skills to fend after herself at such a young, ripe age. Never receiving proper education and having very minimal interaction with the town residents, Kya is alone majority of the time. This doesn’t bother her, as Kya has always felt connected and at peace with nature. While she lacks human interaction, she makes up for it with the creatures of the marsh who have become like family to her and whom she has studied over the years, memorizing their habits and way of life, learning more from them than any human could ever teach her.
Kya is misunderstood and disrespected by most all locals she encounters merely for her lack of social cues, human interaction, or education. The marsh is the only thing that she trusts and is the closest thing to love and friendship she’s had. She stays away from others and keeps to herself as much as possible because it’s difficult to be ridiculed and isolated for a reputation that couldn’t be further from the truth. When one young man from town begins meeting Kya at the marsh to teach her to read, she slowly realizes that she’s been longing for human interaction more than she realized. She learns that others can be kind and show her the love and compassion that she deserves.
One day Chase, a local boy is found dead and for whatever reason, Kya becomes the main suspect and finds herself on trial for a murder she most definitely did not commit. But who would believe her? She has no friends, no family and was seen driving her boat suspiciously on the night Chase was apparently murdered.
As we go through the investigation alongside Kya, we see perspectives from others start to shift as the real Kya is slowly discovered, layer by layer. The classic line “don’t judge a book by its cover” applies to Kya and this story, as she has much more depth than what the surface shows.
I absolutely adored Kya and grew to love her character and her pure heart. I’ve never rooted for a character like I did with Kya, as she is so deserving of love and a fair chance at life. Where The Crawdads Sing is a beautiful story that intertwines the innocence and simplicity of nature and a simple girl trying to survive a very hard and judgmental society.
I CANNOT wait to see what Reese Witherspoon does with this film and I truly hope it gives this book the praise and justice it deserves. Where The Crawdads Sing is one of those books that is so difficult to describe and accurately put into words until you read it for yourself. So please… read it!