This is the story of Kya, (her name shortened from Catherine Danielle Clark) set in the 30’s through to the 70’s the “Mash Girl” haunts Barkley Cove and is suspected of murder. Always observant of the creatures and life in the marsh Kya grows up differently to the expected norms. She is seen as wild and improper. Actually a victim? She has been badly treated and then abandoned but there is hope, a choice.
Delia Owens is an excellent naturalist and ecologist the book’s interesting environment of the swamp and its wildlife is a perfect match for the poetic prose. This story has grown a following thanks to it’s brilliant observations on American North Carolina marshland society, on relationships, love, prejudice, racism and sexism. The narratives issues and that of its protagonist are intermingled with a fast paced and gripping murder mystery which takes us on an emotional back journey.
However, a disappointing ending for me, did she do it? Kya talks a lot about mating in nature and how savage it can be. So, was she in disguise on the bus back?