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. (Goodreads synopsis)
I had no idea what I was expecting when I started this book but after hearing Doris from All D Books on YouTube gush about it, I knew I wanted to pick it up. This a historical fiction set in the 1950s and ’60s with a dual timeline that eventually converges. The first follows Kya as she grows up in the marsh. The second timeline follows the investigation of the death of one of the towns most popular residents.
The biggest strength of this book for me was the characters. Kya and Tate are some of my favorite characters I have ever read. Kya is complex, naive, strong, intelligent. There are so many layers to her character that I know I could re-read this book and find even more about her that I like so much. Tate is such a pure character that I instantly fell in love with him and his kind and honest personality.
The next strength for me was the way the story unfolds. This book is a perfect mix of character study and plot. I would use the word quiet to describe how this story unfolds. Yes there are explosive parts but you really get to know the characters well and you deeply care about what happens to them.
This was by no means a perfect novel but it is pretty close in my opinion. I listened to this on audio and that was excellent too. I am so glad that this was one of the first books that I completed in 2019. It is definitely a favorite.