Unpopular opinion: I did not love this novel like many others did and perhaps the hype worked against it for me. “Where the Crawdads Sing” is the story of a young girl, Kya Clark, abandoned by nearly everyone: her family, her community, the school system. Throughout it all, she’s managed to survive and piece together a meaningful life for herself filled with nature and the marsh she resides in. The readers get the chance to grow with Kya, the writer chronicling her journey as a young girl to her older age. The second story happening in the book is the unraveling of a murder and whether or not Kya played a role in it.
There are certain parts throughout the book where I had to suspend my disbelief in order to power through the story. One of which was the high school quarterback interested in Kya as was Tate, a man who left for college but was haunted by memories and desires of his time with her. Perhaps this is me but realistically, I couldn’t imagine either of those things happening based on Kya’s interactions with either man. There was also no female bonding, just Kya being surrounded by them to offer her a helping hand. Both individuals seemed written to type, the classic good guy/bad guy scenario, which made the decision-making process in the love triangle relatively easy. I also thought that the pacing in the novel slowed down the story for me, as did the nature descriptions and many outdoors scenes where Kya is alone, inspecting the marsh. Though beautifully written, I never felt like those scenes moved the story along. It felt unnecessary to me.
I don’t want to reveal spoilers about the end but I rolled my eyes at some of the reveals. It was too coincidental. This was not a “must-read” for me.