A book is known to all sworn news readers around the world. The inscription on the cover itself – the “best-selling book of the year 2019” – seduces you with the sweet promise that it will be fine.
What else is tempting? The novel is the literary debut of a seventy-year-old zoologist. Confess – after all, it’s interesting to know what experiences this woman went through, that the whole world, as a frenzy, buys thoughts that are born in her head. And, it turns out, a bit of personal experience, Owens has woven into his work, full of magical descriptions of nature.
The book tells the story of North Carolina, a swamp population. More precisely, the story of one resident Kaia.
The 1952 year. The family lived in a poor hut surrounded by swamps, birds, insects, and sludge. A drinking and abusive dad, a bunch of kids, and a mom tired of everything. All of them slowly escaped from the sad place of residence until only Dad and his smallest six-year-old daughter Kaia remained.
Soon, Kaia was left alone. The girl is the real shadow of the swamps. She has long mastered hiding there so that no one will find her, and entertain with whatever she finds. She is not caught by social service or other well-wishers. Gradually she is left alone, which meant that from now on, Kaia herself must somehow earn something that nature cannot give. A smart girl grows up and finds solutions that become her lifestyle.
In 1969, in the same town where everyone knows each other, a dead “golden boy” is found. The young man is found in mysterious circumstances, and the simplest and most obvious version of the death does not convince the sheriff – he begins to dig deeper.
The author is seventy years, and still she so beautifully and interestingly writes about so many wonderful things. The book is original with many painful experiences and injustices. Perhaps more sensitive readers will wipe some tears. The story of a strong, unbreakable, but never given up woman.
© Fortune, 2020
Can sad stories make you teary?