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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

Ever since my freshman year of high school, I have had a major love of reading. There is something about the anticipation of having to flip through pages in order to find out what happens next in the plot. The author develops characters who are relatable and allow for a connection between the reader. Whenever I have time I always look for articles and blogs that recommend the best books to read. The novel Where the Crawdad’s Sing by Delia Owens, has been one of my favorite reads so far.

This New York Times bestseller follows the life of Kya Clark the“marsh girl” who has lived isolated from the real world for all her life. This free-spirited girl learns about how to live alone and seeks to discover all of the hidden wonders about the Marsh. The story takes place on the coast of North Carolina where the charming town jock Chase Andrews has been found dead below the water tower. The people of Barkley Cove have reason to believe it was Kya. She has always been curious about the unknown and realizes how to live a life without anyone until two men become infatuated with her and she starts to see a different side of herself. The novel is written with two alternating timelines from the 1950s to the late 60s, before and after Chase’s death. Kya’s innocence slowly changes into the spirit of a maturing young woman who makes her own decisions about how to live. Her free spirit challenges her to make choices and trust the people around her and she even holds her secrets that lie within the Marsh. 

This book allowed me to observe more of the things that people do in society to conform, whether it’s establishing a social class or trying to be a person someone else will like. The idea of conformity challenged me because it changed the way I saw myself in different settings and how common it is for people fall victim to these norms. Barkley Cove is a small town and everyone has to act a certain way and obey the rules. Kya is seen as an outcast because she does not fit into the social norm. The townspeople judge her based on the things Kya has no control such as the abandonment of her family and the fact that she lives in the Marsh. The novel has allowed me to keep in mind the differences between people and to not hold a preconception before knowing the full situation. This page-turner is bewitching and captures the true meaning of how prejudice affects how one sees the world and the hidden truth behind the “Marsh Girl.”

I think it’s important to find something exciting to read because it allows people to think about what they are reading and develop their own interpretation of the storyline. The thing about reading is that there is no one way to interpret it; it’s completely subjective to the individual. One of the things I learned about reading in A.P Literature class in high school was that reading is an escape from reality; it allows for creativity and challenges you to think critically. It also teaches important lessons as the author weaves themes together that allows you to question and have a greater understanding of the world. 

My name is Caroline and I am a first-year at Denison University and am from Boston, MA. I am studying psychology and considering a pre-med track. In my spare time I enjoy traveling, reading, playing tennis and spending time with my friends. I'm writing about topics I am passionate in and hope to form connections with people through my writing.
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