I finished another audiobook with #Audible today, “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens.
Synopsis: Catherine Danielle Clark, better known by her nickname Kya, lives along a North Carolina marsh with her parents and older siblings. Her father’s drinking problem and physical abuse towards everyone in the family leads to everyone running away from the marsh one-by-one. She grows up alone, serving by the kindness of an African American couple who sympathize with her struggle.
This story gave me chills because I read it as a story of loneliness and isolation. Kya is mostly alone in an old cabin near the marsh. The home was in her family for generations. This child is abandoned and neglected by everyone, except for the old couple–Jumpin’ and Mabel. The community looks down on her, and other marsh people, as poor, dirty folk. She has no one to show her kindness, love, protection, until one day she runs into a boy named Tate. He realizes she’s all alone and starts visiting her. He teaches her how to read and offers the only sense of friendship she’s ever known.
“Where the Crawdads Sing” was chilling to read in the Age of Corona. We’re all home, mostly alone. Our sense of community has changed, and we’re lonely. Secondary and tertiary friendships seem long gone. Kya’s description of being alone struck me: 1) as a person who aches for the regular community pre-COVID 2) as an adult searching for another adult to take responsibility for this child. I cringed at the beginning of the story when she was lost on the boat (luckily, Tate helped) and when Chase Andrews came into the picture. He was the town football star Kya develops a relationship with when Tate goes to university. I didn’t trust him for one second!
I enjoyed “Where the Crawdads Sing.” It was lively, engaging, and very entertaining. There’s so much to this story, but I don’t want to give it away, so I’m holding back.
Have you read “Where the Crawdads Sing?” Would you?