Delia Owen’s debut novel Where the Crawdads Sing has been floating around my social media for a while now with lots of people saying lots of good things about it.
In search of something to distract me from a rainy Yorkshire summer I picked up a copy to see what all the fuss was about.
Set in 1950s America, the book follows the life of Kya Clark, or as she is known, the Marsh Girl.
We meet Kya as a child and follow her through a difficult upbringing, family trauma and her struggles growing up alone in the marshes of Barkley Cove, North Carolina.
Her story is told as flashbacks alongside the intertwining investigation into the death of local boy and town hero Chase Andrews.
The two storylines are unusual but believable. They are also heart-breaking and moving, dealing with everything from bigotry and racism to cruelty and what it truly is to be alone.
What makes this book stand above many I’ve read is Owen’s beautiful use of language and her detailed descriptions of nature and scenery which transport you to 1950s America instantly.
For me the ability to take the reader out of their lives and drop them somewhere entirely different is the true mark of a great author.
This book wasn’t at all what I expected, but a beautiful piece of literature that I devoured quickly and for a short while took me somewhere else. Unputdownable indeed and a great summer read.
Fancy of copy of Where the Crawdad Sings? I’m doing a give-away over on my instagram page. Just head to my instagram here