“Where the Crawdads Sing”: a Tale About Nature, Love, and Abandonment

Books enable us to escape reality and find ourselves in a completely different scenario. Scottish politician, Paul Sweeney, once said: “You know you’ve read a good story when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend”. This quote couldn’t be more accurate for Delia Owens’ latest novel. “Where the Crawdads Sing”, a coming-of-age story, demonstrates that the world can never be deprived of the warmth of love.

As a murder mystery, it is filled with uncertainty and tension, which makes the reader turn the pages with bated breath. The descriptions of ethereal nature intertwine with a truly suspenseful murder trial. This tale has everything a viewer can wish for: perfectly developed characters, who face relatable issues, and a captivating storyline, full of detailed imagery and pathos. Its plot, although quite simple, contains a lot of unexpected twists and turns, which make the novel truly unforgettable.

As the first chapter begins, the readers are introduced to Kya Clark – the main protagonist of the book. Introverted yet strong, she is forced to learn how to live in the marsh by herself. All of her family members either died or ended up abandoning her, trying to escape the girl’s abusive father, who as a result, left the house as well. Alone, with no money and proper education, Kya wasn’t able to provide a good living for herself. She was forced to start going to the town more often, selling mussels and fish to a salesman Jumpin’, who later became one of her few friends. By doing so, the girl was able to buy gas and other supplies to use in her so-called “shack”.

People in Barkely Cove, North Carolina, as a deeply prejudiced community, rejected the little child and started calling her “the Marsh Girl”. Kya went to school once, but stopped after being harassed by all of the other students. With terrible rumors starting to spread about the girl, the only place she felt at peace with was the marsh – an isolated area away from the society, surrounded by ethereal nature. Owens used lyrical prose in her novel, describing the setting in a truly beautiful and compelling way. Reading “Where the Crawdads Sing” is like reciting poetry – each page is filled with detailed descriptions of love and nature, and inspirational quotes worth remembering forever.

As Kya grows up, she meets more people on her way, even falling in love with a few of them. She tries to open her heart, but the fear of abandonment overcomes all of her strengths and needs. Even at the age of 24, she still doesn’t feel ready to give her all and trust people who had previously abandoned her. Despite how much the fear controlled her, it also helped her grow as a person. Kya quickly adjusted to her situation and became a self-sufficient, hardworking and independent woman. With a little help from the outside, she learnt how to read and write, eventually becoming an expert in the field of biology.

As the story progresses, Kya finds herself being able to trust and open up to others again. For the longest time, she thought nature was the only thing that could never abandon her, but as she became more self-aware and strengthened her weaknesses, she found out that there are humans in this world that can be relied on as well. When her family first left her, she thought she was capable of avoiding society forever and confiding only in nature itself. With time, however, she realized that people are also capable of keeping secrets. Capable of loving. Capable of staying. Owens’ poetic language and beautiful descriptions of love between human beings made it impossible not to tear up during reading the novel. The author captured Kya’s emotions perfectly and put them down on paper, creating a flawless, heartwarming story.

Even though “Where the Crawdads Sing” is a coming-of-age novel, it is also a murder mystery. The story of Kya’s complicaded life intertwine with a murder case of a well-liked football quarterback, Chase Andrews. Obviously, as the outsider, the “Marsh Girl” is the first one to be a prime suspect. Owens came up with a truly compelling and suspenseful storyline, laced with twists and hidden clues. At the end of the novel, she finally reveals Chase’s real murderer, taking everyone by surprise. By leaving red herrings along the lines, she messes with people’s heads, making them question everything they have read so far. Applying all of these characteristics into her novel enabled Owens to create the most suspenseful and intriguing story many have read in their lives.
Ownens’ message is more complex than what most writers employ in their creative pieces. Talking about how love and nature shapes one’s personality is only part of what Owens is really trying to say. The real themes in her novel are the lasting effects of abandonment and prejudice toward others.

“Where the Crawdads Sing” not only makes you travel without moving your feet, but also raises awareness about important issues in our society. Owens’ incredible writing style only adds up to the greatness of the novel, making it even more enjoyable. As a groundbreaking mixing pot of love and mystery, it really is a must-read for everyone. “Where the Crawdads Sing” will change your perspective on books forever, as I shall say, one of the greatest stories ever written.