Owens, Delia "Where the Crawdads Sing" - 2018
This book has been recommended to me by so many friends and even though my TBR pile is growing constantly, I just had to pick it up when I came across it in a local bookshop. The choice of English books there isn't always great, so this already says a lot. I'm usually very sceptical about books that everyone praises because I don't often like them but this was different.
I think reviewing this book is one of the toughest I ever had to do. I don't want to spoil it for anyone but it's not easy to write about it after you read it all. I should have written my review before reading the last chapter.
Anyway, a great story about Kya, a girl that is left all alone by her family, one after the other leaves and she has to fend for herself at the age of nine. The villagers don't look favourable at her, to say it mildly.
In a way, there are two stories, one when Kya is a child and one when she is 19 and a murder has happened. Needless to say, it doesn't take long until she is the main suspect. The two stories are told alternately until they eventually merge together. I love that way of storytelling.
We get to know Kya not only as a very resourceful person, very down to earth, but also as a wonderful artist who gets her rightful acknowledgement in the end
I will now go on talking about the rest of the book in the spoiler section. If you have not read the book, don't open it.
In case you disregarded this. Didn't I say? Don't open it if you haven't read it!!!! Don't blame me if I spoiled the book for you.
Like everyone else, I've been wondering all the time how and why Chase died. Was it an accident? Was it someone else? Was it Kya after all? If you read the book, you know how it ends. Was I surprised? Not really. But it still came as a huge shock. I don't think I could ever commit a murder but sometimes I come close to understanding the killer. This is one of those cases. What I did not understand was why Tate destroyed all the poems. That's definitely something I could not have done.
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If you look for a page-turner, an unputdownable book, I can heartily recommend this one. I hope Delia Owens will write more books. Maybe I'll try one of her memoirs, "Cry of the Kalahari", "The Eye of the Elephant", or "Secrets of the Savanna".
From the back cover:
"How long can you protect your heart?
For years, rumors of the 'Marsh Girl' have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life - until the unthinkable happens.
Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps."
"Where the Crawdads Sing" has been chosen favourite book of the year 2019 by the German Indepent Bookshops.