This book has been EVERYWHERE recently and its popularity seems to have come out of nowhere. It has appeared on a bunch of best of lists and has been the pick for numerous book clubs. My library currently has 30 people waiting to get their hands on this book so the hype isn’t going anywhere. I usually steer clear of books that are popular just because they are but I had heard good things about this one. I am so glad I read this book because it was a beautiful, haunting read and I can’t recommend it enough.
Kya Clark has grown up by herself in the marshes of North Carolina, somehow surviving despite being left by her family at the age of 10. As she grows up, she explores her home in ways no one else has but longs to have some companionship. Two men end up in her life but when one is found dead, she must face the suspicion of the town that has always seen her as “the marsh girl.”
Things I Liked:
The imagery Owens uses in her writing is top notch. It’s beautiful and lush and wonderfully descriptive. Owens spend a lot of time showing the reader how Kya learns to live by herself in the marsh and does a great job making the reader feel as though they are right there with her. I have heard some complaints that these parts are too slow but I didn’t find that to be the case. I loved every moment. I also liked Owens’ choice of jumping back and forth between time periods because it allowed the mystery of the dead man to build up.
Kya is a fascinating character and even when I found it hard to believe that she could survive what she did, Owens would introduce a character that would help her or she would learn something new that made her story make sense. Everything she learns has an impact on her life. I found the scene where she learned how to read to be powerful and emotional and shared her joy.
The ending. My word. It’s hard to surprise me but this book managed to do so. The last page was amazing and I had to reread it a few time to make sure I understood what fully happened. I won’t say more for fear of spoiling the story but the end was perfection.
Things I didn’t Like:
With the exception of Tate, I felt the male characters in the book were a little blah and cookie cutter. There’s the old, wise man who takes Kya under his wing. There’s the town hotshot who every girl wants and every boy wants to be. These characters didn’t surprise me in anyway and there was no growth for them.
I can see why this books is so popular and has such high ratings and good reviews. I was hooked on Kya’s story from page one and was anxious to see how the mystery played out. I would highly recommend this book. Go get on your library’s wait list ASAP!
“Sometimes she heard night-sounds she didn’t know or jumped from lightning too close, but whenever she stumbled, it was the land who caught her. Until at last, at some unclaimed moment, the heart-pain seeped away like water into sand. Still there, but deep. Kya laid her hand upon the breathing, wet earth, and the marsh became her mother.”
Author: Delia Owens
Published: August 14, 2018
Rating: 5 Stars