Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

One by one, they all left her.

Mother went first. She let the door slam and, walking away from her abusive husband, didn’t even look back to wave to her children for the last time.

They thought she would come back. Kya never saw her again.
She was only six years old when her only remaining brother came to tell her that he is leaving, that he too is running away. Kya Clark was left alone with her father…

“How much do you trade to defeat loneliness?”

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

A few years later, the father also stopped returning to their dilapidated hut.

Kya Clark no longer had anyone. Left to herself and the wild coastal thickets of North Carolina, torn between hunger, fear and the search for an answer to the question of how it is possible for a mother to leave her children, there is no time to grieve.

The first instinct of this small, unprotected, abandoned being is to seek security and warmth in other people, even if they are strangers.

“His dad had told him many times that the definition of a real man is one who cries without shame, reads poetry with his heart, feels opera in his soul, and does what’s necessary to defend a woman.”

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

But Kya soon realizes that the people from the fishing village not far from her hut cultivate overwhelming intolerance, aggressive prejudices, and almost disgust towards the people from the thickets.

A child left alone in the world very quickly begins to learn that the indifferent wilderness towards him is far more tolerable than the community of pious natives; that the untamed, mute world provides him with more protection and help than the first closest community of civilized people.

If nothing else, Nature at least does not try to intentionally harm her…

Loneliness, isolation, hiding will become her only ways of surviving not the whims of Mother Nature, but the selfish needs, destructive betrayals and shocking cowardice of people, whose closeness and affection Kya will have to pay for with pieces of her wonderful, unspoiled nature.

“Life had made her an expert at mashing feelings into a storable size. But loneliness has a compass of its own.”

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

When something unusual happens in this small fishing village – when two boys find the body of a promising young man from the esteemed Berkley Cove family – it won’t be long before a murder is suspected.

And looking for the culprit for the shocking loss of that young life will not take long until fingers and eyes begin to point in the direction of the hut of a beautiful, strange barefoot girl / witch who is alone – indecently alone, suspiciously alone, defiantly alone, unforgivably alone.

There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Can one who, in her tender childhood, survived a deep, thorough, complete abandonment survive the contempt, repulsion, and misunderstanding that have finally taken shape, direction, and reason to embark on a long-suppressed persecution?

Who will protect her and how this time?

How will her only mother, Mother Nature, the one who invented and perfected the skill of survival, prepare her for what people prepare for her who, every time they held out their hands to her, did so either to take something from her or to push her away rudely ?

“Please don’t talk to me about isolation. No one has to tell me how it changes a person. I have lived it. I am isolation,”

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Often people know to ask me how I find all these great books. I would like to say that I possess some rare instinct or a precisely tuned sixth sense. The truth is this – certain titles that I fall helplessly, deeply, irrevocably and forever in love with are revealed to me by you.

I’ve seen this title on many lists that Google throws out when one goes to look for the most anticipated titles of fall and winter. I saw it, quickly scanned the short content and – extended to some other titles that seemed more interesting.

If it weren’t for my friend Dunja, I would have missed this book. And if it weren’t for dear Dunja, I would probably have given up on the book somewhere in the first 50 pages. I literally shudder when I think that’s exactly what could have happened.

Why on earth would I give up? Because of the “slow warm-up,” I’d say. The broken dialectal English spoken by the characters requires a bit of habituation from the reader, such as getting acquainted with terms related to biology and terminology related to the specific time and climate in which the action takes place requires little effort from the reader.

“Imagination grows in the lonliest of soils”

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Honestly, the things that pushed me further in the very beginning were empathy for the abandoned girl and blind trust in Dunja’s recommendation.

And good thing I persevered. By page one hundred, I had turned into a passionate, frothy lover into one unique, brave, capable girl with a pure soul and a stunning mind, and on page 184 I wrote in the margin, “I don’t want this book to end”.

The last third of the book I couldn’t stop reading, which in my case meant that for a whole evening I completely ignored my family.

And in that last third of the book, I shed a tear at least 4 times. On page 236, there is a scene that slammed into my plexus so hard that I had to close the book and breathe through my mouth, so that my dear would not realize I was crying. Who will explain it to him?

Delia Owens said in an interview with BookPage that she wrote the book for a full ten years, often winding up the alarm clock at 4:30 a.m. to work on the book before committing to other, regular commitments. Following the advice of her mother – which she used as the title for this book – Delia moved to the wilds of Africa after her studies, where she dedicated her life to studying hyenas, lions and elephants in their natural habitat.

She does not hide that she has woven a lot of her own experience, knowledge and thinking about nature and man’s, especially woman’s, place in it into this book.

This is the author’s first novel; as a co-author, she previously signed three journalistic titles – memoirs about wildlife and the animals that inhabit it. I’m sure that this writing experience is responsible for such a vivid, vivid picture of the natural world in which, like a newly hatched chicken, Delia Owens placed this girl. Not only has she managed to nestle it deep into the wildlife of North Carolina, but she also manages to transport us readers into the fragrant scrub, mysterious fog and warm, lonely beaches, to observe life with Kya.

It is perfectly clear to the reader why Kya never wants to leave her wilderness; I didn’t want to either.

Because of the way this girl grows up, because of the way she observes and lives not in her environment, but together with him, this book reminds me of “The Signature of All Things” by Elisabeth Gilbert.

Apart from Alma Whittaker from the book “Signature of All Things”, Kya Clark reminds me of many other ladies I admired; one of them is, again, Serena from Ron Rash’s book of the same name – only Kya isn’t as coldly calculated as Serena. Her pragmatic thinking reminds me of Evelyn Hugo from Seven Husbands Evelyn Hugo”

I am deeply, as a reader and as a woman, grateful to the author for giving us a unique protagonist in whom, in different ways, I fell in love at any age. In the form of a young girl, Delia Owens broke many molds and expanded, if not completely nullified, the boundaries of what a woman can be.

I have to do life alone

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

What has completely knocked me off my feet is the strength of the bond between nature and woman; both are fighters, and both are patient loners, and both tireless seekers of new ways of existence, with the potential for layered transformations.

I am grateful for such a warm, intelligently presented theme of female self-sufficiency and defiant creativity.

From beginning to end, this book is an ode to nature, especially to that part of it that still smolders in every woman.

This book is read with suppressed breath, with a lump in the throat as well as with pride in the heart, and closes with a deep sense of contentment, admiration and triumph.

Standing in a moste fragile place of her life, she turned to the only net she knew – herself.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

In short, this book is not to be missed.

And if by the end of the year there isn’t one that will convincingly surpass it, it could easily happen to remain the best, most powerful book I’ve read this year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s