BY Harsimran Kaur ON June 08, 2021, IN BOOK REVIEWS, WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING-DELIA OWENS
I read it somewhere that a book that keeps you hooked in its initial pages can never be a disappointment. The same happened when I read a sample of the book ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ on my Kindle and it turned out to be an excellent read.
“Where the Crawdads sing” is a heart wrenching story of a six year old girl ‘Kya.’ Ostracized by the society and surviving all by herself, kya is alone and bereft of life. Aided only by the occasional kindness of a black neighbour and his wife, she learns to hunt and cook in order to survive.
The story is presented in two different time-lines-the 1950s and the 1960s. During the former era, we learn about Kya’s growing up alone in the marsh. The latter part is a fast paced murder mystery and its subsequent trial. The two stories run parallel which makes the plot intriguing.
The book is author Delia Owen’s first fiction novel. Zoologists by profession, the author has captured nature and emotions stupendously. The book has poems which fit perfectly and keep the readers engaged. The compelling story makes it difficult to put the book down.
The slurp of poignancy entrenched in Kya’s heart and the deplorable conditions she goes through makes your heart bleed. Her journey makes her vulnerable to phases of life—some full of fear, anger, sadness and loneliness, and some devoid of love and comfort. But, her courage does not leave her and she traverses her journey with an indefatigable spirit. Below is a quote from the book which mirrors Kya’s tumultuous journey:
“When cornered, desperate, or isolated, man reverts to those instincts that aim straight at survival. Quick and just.”
The book challenges the preconceived notions of loneliness. Loneliness sometimes acts as a means of empowerment. It teaches us the most important lesson of life. It provides a new perspective that at the end we all are by ourselves. Time does not stop for anyone, and life keeps moving at its own pace. Kya rose from the realm of loneliness to embark on a journey accompanied by an indomitable zeal.