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I had to keep reading to see what would happen to poor Kya. I went through so many emotions reading this! Although it’s an enjoyable read, I don’t see the hype. Perhaps it’s for the wild ones, beyond yonder where the crawdads sing. :)
I really enjoyed this book. It was about a young girl who is abandoned by her mother and father. It was a page turner about the girl's (Kya) coming of age , survival all alone in the marsh, and murder. I really loved the description of the marsh. I couldn't put it down. I also liked the surprise ending. I definitely recommend this book.
Right from the start, the story comes across as a bit far-fetched with the idea of a six year-old child surviving in the marsh with virtually no assistance from her father. Although Kya is unable to read or remember her sibling’s ages, she is somehow able to drive a boat, boil grits, and bake cornbread for herself. Perhaps children of her age are actually smarter than I imagine them to be, but if my six year-old self were in her situation, I’d curl up on the ground and cry until a social worker found me. Yet, despite my skepticism, I was still intrigued enough by her ways of survival to keep on reading.
The author’s biggest strength is undoubtedly her ability to describe nature, flexing her knowledge of the marsh’s inhabitants and biology through beautiful prose. Unfortunately, these descriptions of nature mainly appear in Kya’s scenes, leaving the chapters focusing on the sheriff and his deputy to feel bland in comparison. The scenes of nature subside in the last portion of the story, which features a trial that basically, and repeatedly, emphasizes the idea of a lack of evidence through back-and-forth dialogue. At the end of the novel, I was feeling a bit underwhelmed, even with the supposed twist. I can’t help but feel as though the author’s inspiration for this novel was wholly based on a fantasy of living in the wild, with the murder plot being added in later for increased appeal towards readers.
I still mainly enjoyed the story, savoring Kya’s sweet moments with Tate, her family, and others, and pitying the poor girl subjected to a lonely childhood with numerous heartbreaks. This book can be quite sad, and you can’t help but root for Kya as she finds happiness in even the smallest of things.
I was unsure if I really wanted to read this title with all the hype (honestly, I was having a hipster moment about it), but when my friends begged me to read it to them, I agreed. To my surprise I quite enjoyed it. This book is nature heavy and centered, which really immerses you in Kya's world. I will say what kept me reading was the love Kya shared with Tate. Tate just seemed to truly want to help and understand Kya at her core. #Taya I think why this book has worked for so many is because it has pieces of several different genres. We have love, crime, mystery, nature, and a twist ending. I think if you are trying to be cool and different by not reading this, put that aside. We read, we already are the coolest, so give this one a shot! The ending truly made it all worth it for me.
I finally read it. Though it's a good book, I have no idea what the hype was all about.
This was just okay for me. I found the descriptions of the marsh beautiful however I think the story line was just a bit too far-fetched.
I found this book on the New York Times Bestseller list. I have to say, how great this book is is justified by how long it has been on there. The story begins with little Kya, happy with her family, but only because she is too young to see the tensions brewing within. One by one, all her family members leave, and she is left alone to carve out a life for herself in the marshes of North Carolina. She prizes her isolation, running away from other people when they get too near her shack, but two men from the nearby town manage to coax her out of her little bubble. What ensues seeds distrust, breaks hearts, and even kills. A whole town is suspicious of her. Will she ever find peace again?
For the most part, this is a wonderful book. Kya is a likable and interesting character, and the same goes for the story itself, although I am not fond of the ending. It seemed a bit rushed and was less than believable. Overall though, it is a must-read.
At times I wasn't sure what I thought of this book but the first 100 pages flew by. I sometimes wondered about the quality of the writing or maybe felt the poetry was clumsily introduced but by the end of the book I can honestly say it was a worthwhile read. Kya's love of the marsh and her development as a self-taught naturalist, potential for love, and a murder mystery keep you engaged and hoping for resolution.
I can't say I was disappointed in this book because I had no expectations going in; I just knew how popular it was with circulation numbers and book clubs. Honestly, so much of the story fell flat for me. I liked the nature descriptions, but the characters were almost non-existent, except for our protagonist, Kya, but even her character growth, especially with the contrived twists at the end, wasn't engaging or fully realized. My tag "feels like young adult cliches" is in regards to how almost all of the plot and catalysts for Kya's development are spurred by men, showing up in her life and abandoning her (although the /first/ person to leave her was her mother). There's a "good" love interest and a "bad" love interest and Kya's life just seemed to plod along until they interacted with her. I got the impression that the author just didn't want to write about any of her other characters, because very little is given about them, and some are even introduced, sort of, towards the end that you would think would be important, especially to Kya, but *shrug*. Also, I was just personally miffed that a person who has been abandoned all her life wouldn't even consider adoption (I think an oversight on the author's part). The ending felt rushed and sloppy, just glossing over the rest of Kya's life, which is a shame. This book had some interesting ideas and a main character that could have been intriguing, but overall it felt cliched, underdeveloped, and overshadowed by the marsh and its descriptions, that almost solely defined the protagonist.
This is primarily a story about the survival and eventual maturation of Kya, a girl who was abandoned by her mother at age 6 and by the rest of her family over the next couple of years. She grows up in a marshland in North Carolina, near the ocean, and learns to take care of herself. But it is also a murder mystery, about a murder which takes place many years later. Kya’s life and the murder investigation form two distinct timelines, which are explored early in the book. We know who the victim is right away and we assume that there will be a connection with Kya. This future murder hangs over young Kya’s story like a boulder hanging over a house.
The writing itself is beautiful. Owens is a biologist herself, and her ability to draw us into the life of the marsh is powerful. Kya learns about the ways of the world from her observations of the natural life around her and makes frequent comparisons with the ways of humans as she learns about them. But this is contrasted by Kya’s experience of abandonment, first by her family, and secondly by other men in her life. The marsh and the ocean, and especially the birds which inhabit them, seem like the most important constants for her and the only things which can compensate for her deep loneliness.
While I was in many ways mesmerized by this book, I don’t think the author gave us enough detail for us to believe how Kya was able to survive on her own as a young child. And I don’t think the author thought through the murder investigation very well. Even with those misgivings, I enjoyed the book very much.
Good book, well-written. Author is at her best in the descriptions of nature and the growing up life of “the marsh girl”, especially in the first 2/3 to 3/4 of the book. Was somewhat disappointed in the last part of the book, didn’t find the writing about the trial very engaging and the last bit just balled-up the rest of her life to put a conclusion on it.
Kya suffers a great deal of heartbreak, even from unexpected sources, but seems to have resigned herself to a way of life she believes is really her only true option. But, all of it is threatened when a body is found in the marsh, and Kya’s life is suddenly under a white-hot spotlight.
The author does a fantastic job with the ecological descriptions and drawing the reader into the beauty Kya sees in her environment. The rich characterizations, especially with Kya’s character study, is another area in which the book excels.
Worth your time. The location, flora & fauna was unique & one that I knew very little about. I highly recommend it.
I read a few pages, skipped around the book, it's not for me. It looks like something I would have read in the 3rd grade. I rarely pick up fiction books. This one had such high recommendations, this is why I requested it. Hope y'all enjoy it. It just wasn't my cup of tea.
I couldn't wait to read this and wow it was a big disappointment! It was the most depressing book I think I've ever read. While the writing is good, the story is so nonsensical- a 6 year old left alone in a shack raises herself and no one lifts a hand to help her? Page after page of she's alone in the marsh. Glad I didn't buy it!
I try to read books before they're made into movies and this one is a must-read!
I can't wait to see the casting for Kya, she is such a fierce and lovable heroine. I would recommend this to anyone, but if you've been to North Carolina you'll definitely appreciate the local references. The story is very entertaining with fully formed (and flawed) characters, a real page turner!!!
Wonderful book, just couldn't lay it down. Often sad, always hopeful, great love story. I'm searching for another Delia Owen's book.
Beautifully, well written historical fiction novel based in the marshy south.
A haunting story of a little girl growing up in the marsh lands all alone. Everyone she depended on leaves her, without much food, money or skills to survive. It is hard to imagine how one would exist without love, a touch of gentleness or even companionship. The author weaves a good tale with lots of excess description of the marsh and it's wildlife. Great ending that brings many things to closure, easy reading and I recommend reading it.
Great read once you get past the first few chapters. Well written accounts of an area of our country I was not familiar. I have had returning thoughts of parts of this book. So well written and readable in such a way that your mind continues to call into question characters!
A great book. Truly couldn't put it down. The characters are so raw and believable. This book makes you take a look at life and realize that things are not black and white.