At the library where I work, this book has been requested on a long waiting list. I decided to find out why. Now I know. The story follows nature lover, Catherine “Kya,” who grows up alone in the 1950’s in the North Carolina Marshland after her siblings and mother leave, and her father, the cause of their departure, eventually disappears.
Avoiding the townspeople and the truant officer who tries to take her to school after she’s taunted and teased by the other children, she makes one friend, Tate, who teaches her to read and shares her love of nature. As the two grow, they fall in love, but Tate leaves to go to college. The events that occur when he doesn’t keep his promise to return to her, set off a chain of events that result with Kya accused of the murder of a man whose family is well known in the town.
There is much more to this story that features themes of prejudice and abuse but also the beauty of nature and the enduring quality of love and friendship. One addition that I especially enjoyed was the brief appearance of the court cat, Sunday Justice.
Don’t miss this read that will keep you turning the pages and also has a surprising twist at the end.
Delia Owens is the co-author of three internationally bestselling nonfiction books about her life as a wildlife scientist in Africa including Cry of the Kalahari.
She has won the John Burroughs Award for Nature Writing and has been published in Nature, The African Journal of Ecology, and many others.
She currently lives in Idaho. Where the Crawdads Sing is her first novel.