By Delia Owens
Kya is abandoned as a child by everyone who should love her. She’s left alone in the swamps of North Carolina, aged seven, where she finds solace in the intimacy of the marsh around her and learns to fend for herself. Kya grows, falls in love and wrestles with loneliness. She comes of age, uses her biologist’s heart to publish beautiful nature encyclopedia. We learn from the first chapter that there’s a death in the town and we know that Kya will stand accused of murder. As the timeline weaves together we have grown to love, and be protective of our hero, regardless of the outcome. It’s clear from the beautiful prose that Delia Owens is intimately familiar with the environment of which she writes, and indeed she has a background as a wildlife scientist. Something she uses well in her Kya’s observation of nature, “Autumn leaves don’t fall, they fly. They take their time and wander on this their only chance to soar.” Part David Attenborough/Toni Morrison/Harper Lee and Barbara Kingsolver this book is beautiful and much deserving of the attention it’s getting.
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