G.P. PUTNAM’S SONS, $35
Where the Crawdads Sing
by Delia Owens
Author Delia Owens conjures the beloved beaches and marshlands of the Carolinas from a Pat Conroy novel in her latest release, “Where the Crawdads Sing.”
The story begins with six-year-old Kya watching her mother walk out of the family’s shack in the boggy backwoods of the North Carolina coast, and out of her life, leaving Kya and her five older siblings in the care of their abusive, alcoholic father. One by one, each of them would eventually abandon her, taking the same muddy road out of the marsh that her mother walked years prior.
Skillfully escaping child welfare workers at every turn, Kya manages to forge a life for herself among the inlets and lagoons, using her father’s old motorboat. She becomes a self-educated expert on the nature and wildlife of the region, accumulating a treasure trove of shells, seabird feathers and botanical specimens.
Secluded from most of society who only knows of her as the “Marsh Girl,” Kya becomes the unwitting focus of a murder investigation that may take her away from her beloved paradise in the swamp forever.
Reese Witherspoon says of the beautifully written mystery and Reese’s Book Club choice, “I didn’t want this story to end!”
My sentiments exactly.
– Review by Beverly Allen Custer