Rated 4.75 of 5 stars
For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.
Wow. This story really opened me up to some emotions! I shed a tear for Kya as she was abandoned by her family to live in a marsh, full of mystery and intrigue and undoubtedly danger. I smiled as she gained friends that were more like family in Jumpin and his wife (and even their church members) albeit the 60s were a time of great division and social unrest between black and white people. The bond of being poor was one that threaded many families together during that time. I thought the author, Delia Owens, did a great job of sketchy what the times were like outside the marsh and around the world through subtle social interactions in the story. I felt Kya’s pain and hurt but also her triumphs. The readers see her grow into a smart, talented and articulate woman against all the odds thrown at her but her levels of mistrust were just as deep as any wound could be. Her abandonment issues were the catalyst to her subsequently losing sight of what love was and fearing closeness with anyone. The story of Kya growing up in the marsh is the story told in the background of an investigation into Chase Andrews, the town football player and womanizer, found dead in the marsh. While the town who looks down upon Kya due to her poor and crude lifestyle, condemn her to being a murderer, it allows a mirror to be cast on the town, her upbringing and also of what true love really is. A beautiful story with a satisfying triumphant ending. Highly recommended for readers who enjoy slow paced, heartfelt stories that make you want to smile and cry. Special detail was included on marsh animals and plants so those that value nature will especially love the level of detail given to birds, shells and plants. The narrator of the audiobook was especially skilled in creating Southern voices that paint pictures of who each townsperson is and what they would ultimately look like in our minds eye. Well done.
Raging Book Reviews Highly Recommended
*This book was purchased on Audible.