Author :Delia Owens
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher : GP Putnam’s Sons
Year of Publication: 2019
Number of Pages: 368
My Rating : 4 out of 5
I picked this up with a bit of hesitation. In spite of the great reviews that it got, I must say the title made me expect something quite different from what it was. I expected a book filled with scientific details about marshes and birds that would be difficult to read. I was genuinely surprised and pleased to get drawn into the story and to find that it was not an exposition on the science of the marsh masquerading as a novel but a well written, enjoyable and easy to follow story.
The story is about Kya a young girl born in the marshes of North Carolina, USA who is left to fend for herself by her family from the tender age of 7. The town people consider her strange and refer to her as Marsh Girl. She somehow manages to take care of herself all alone in the Marsh with only the occasional journey into town to get supplies.
She is lucky enough to make a friend who teaches her how to read and helps her make use of her knowledge of the marsh to make a respectable living. When one day, Chase Andrews, the son of one of the town’s most prominent families is found dead in the swamp, the town people cannot help but suspect that the strange Marsh girl had something to do with his death.
This is an interesting book about survival and overcoming all odds to make a good life in the face of extreme hardship and hostility. Though I must admit at times I found it difficult to believe that such a young child could survive alone in such difficult circumstances and that none of the residents of the town bothered to do anything about this situation, the story is touching in many ways. It would be amazing if anyone could actually survive such a childhood and manage to turn their life around as Kya did.
I also enjoyed learning about the marsh and the different species to be found there and seeing the beauty in nature through Kya’s eyes, as she explored her marsh and got to know it better than anyone else.
I rate this book 4 out of 5. If you enjoy reading coming of age historical fiction stories and are a lover of nature, you will absolutely love this book. If you are the skeptical and cynical type, you might find it a bit implausible. Happy reading!