There is a lot of well-earned hype around Where The Crawdads Sing. In this novel, Delia Owens confronts prejudices and communities along the backdrop of North Carolina’s marshes in the middle of the twentieth century. Murder, love, and identity are just three of the major themes that come alive between the pages.
More than that, they live in the main character Kya. Burdened by questions of her family and identity, Kya has to learn how to survive at a very young age. The older she gets, the more trades she masters. Kya is an example of what necessity can breed. But at the pit of her character, and every other character in this book, is the search for belonging. To somebody, to a family, to the community or wildlife, every person within these pages is inwardly lonely.
The reader can hear it in the dialogue. Without needing the third-person narrator, the dialogue is fraught with platitudes and overly structured politeness. With that being said, much of the dialogue did border on redundant and forced. Without offering much characterization, the dialogue did little to drive the plot. Skipping most of it would not affect one’s reading experience. However, I still don’t recommend doing so.
Where The Crawdads Sing is an incredible piece of historical fiction. Not only are readers informed and transported into a place and time, they are witnessing the roots of many social issues we’re still grappling with today as a society. Prejudices are still prevalent, they are not historical. And the search for one’s self grows with the population. There is something for every reader within these pages.