“If anyone would understand loneliness, the moon would.”
Catherine Danielle Clark was called Kya by some, and the ones who did not know her cared least to know her real name; she was simply the “Marsh Girl” for them.
A society that is used to seeing everything at a surface level and that assumes stories on its own least cares what an individual’s untold story might be.
‘Where the crawdads sing” is a murder mystery by Delia Owens, who is an American author and zoologist. The story she has put forth is a murder mystery told in such a unique way that it makes her book a genre on its own. The story follows two intertwined timelines: one is the reality that Kya is living of being accused of murdering a rich town playboy, Chase Andrews, and the other are flashbacks from her childhood to how she grew up alone in the swamp region of North Carolina when all her family left her and she fell in love with Tate, a naturalist like her.
What is very evident through this novel is that it’s not always many people that make a story; every person is a story on their own. Kya was one such person.
Sometimes, life is more about surviving than living. A young girl who is abandoned at the age of six battles her surroundings, loneliness, and survival odds. For Kya, life was all about surviving, which may be challenging for a young woman who is unaware of the evil in the world on the other side. After the unfortunate separation from Tate, Kya considers Chase to be her life’s love. However, Chase proves to be nothing more than an illustration of the saying “All that glitters is not gold.” The tale illustrates how girls have occasionally been seen as little more than a means of gratifying lust and as unworthy of fulfilling the promise of everlasting love.
The transition of Kya from a little lonely girl to a young, intelligent woman is worth reading. Her love for nature is beautifully woven into the story. Any girl who reads this book might find Kya in herself: someone who is afraid but does what it takes to survive and loves nature.
Owens has used commendable imagery that sets the reader in a different zone and connects them all the more to the story.
The most interesting part of the novel is the time where Kya learns to read, write, draw, and learn. Her observations of the wild are detailed and every bit beautiful. A girl who grew up alone had more to offer the world than it could ever give her.
“I wasn’t aware that words could hold so much. I didn’t know a sentence could be so full.”
On one hand, there is Tate, who helped Kya find her own strength and beauty, and on the other, there is Chase Andrews, a rich town guy who has made all kinds of fake promises to marry her.
The story navigates how a girl that is so innocent is accused with much hatred for the murder of Chase Andrews, a rich playboy. What good could Chase’s death do to a girl who has lived through all the odds and more?
Kya dies at 65 free of all charges of murder that her lawyer proves baseless.
Tate and Kya were always alike and loved each other despite their long periods of separation. They spend their happily ever after in the marsh, cherishing nature.
In the end, Tate finds some poems by Kya that relate to the murder of Chase Andrews and a necklace that she gave him. Without uttering a word, Kya kept Chase’s secret to herself. How Chase died remains a mystery, but what continues to echo is that the world harms what it cannot understand.
Where the Crawdads Sing is a wonderful book with a character that everyone can relate to. There is some amount of loneliness in everyone’s life, and it’s wonderful to read how Kya lives through it to become a successful author. It was nature that loved and protected Kya.
“She knew the years of isolation had altered her behavior until she was different from others, but it wasn’t her fault she’d been alone. Most of what she knew, she’d learned from the wild. Nature had nurtured, tutored, and protected her when no one else would.”