Where the Crawdads Sing is approximately twelve hours of listening, published by Penguin Audio in August 2018.

Plot. The story lead is Kya, a seven-year-old child abandoned by her family in a marsh. She lives completely alone, in a shack. Kya survives by gardening, fishing, and shell collection. An old man that runs a gas station for boaters buys what he can from her for sale to his customers. He and his wife are also kind and give her clothes and other necessities of life. Kya attends one day of school and is labeled the Marsh Girl. Laughed at and teased, Kya never goes back and hides in the marsh from social service and truancy officers. Eventually, they give up, and she’s on her own. Years pass and Kya is ultimately taught to read by a friend. She becomes an expert in marsh ecology, flora/fauna, and life – writing books, getting published. She also is attacked, abused, and pursued by a brute.

Liked. The story will remind you of similar tales, To Kill A Mockingbird in tempo. Thoughtful. Very descriptive; you’ll smell the marsh, see sphagnum moss dripping from trees, and lightning bugs rise from the reeds. Kya is remarkably self-sufficient, needless to say – strong, independent. And … heartbreakingly lonely.

Not so hot. Narration, for me, was problematic. I didn’t like the voicing of Kya – too whiny. But … the overall narration of southeastern American accents was well done. Confusing, I know. But, there it is.

Where the Crawdads Sing is a coming of age, love story, murder mystery. An excellent debut novel. Recommended.


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