Because I’d run out of reading material on holiday I thought that I’d treat myself to a Kindle copy of Where the Crawdads Sing for the ferry trip home. It had been recommended to me as a read ages ago. But Internet signal wasn’t great at the port so it couldn’t be downloaded. Once onboard the ship I wandered up to the boutique to treat myself to a paperback from their small selection instead. Nothing much inspired me at first but then I found the exact same book that I’d wanted in the last rack I looked at. Result! It has a different cover because there’s a recent film version but I like this old version with a lonely kayaker heaps better.
What a book! I was going to bed a bit early to give me extra reading time after I got home. I finished it within a week It tells the story of a nature loving girl, Kya, who is abandoned by her family in the swamplands of the Southern US. She survives on her wits, in spite of being ostracised, and grows up to be a beauty who is pursued by a couple of the local men. One of them, however, is found dead at the bottom of a fire tower. Kya is suspected of killing him and charged with his murder. Did she commit the crime in spite of a convincing defence? Of course, revealing the outcome would be a massive spoiler.
The book is beautifully written and I felt that it has the aura of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ about it. I found out afterwards that its author Delia Owens has said that this earlier novel was indeed her inspiration. She told the New York Times book review that ‘Scout gave me the license to write Kya’. ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ is one of the only books where I loved the film adaptation as much as the written story. Will ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ be the same? I’ll now have to see the movie to find out.
Disclosure: I may earn commission from purchases through a link in this post.