(Book Review / 感想) Where the Crawdads Sing / Delia Owens * ザリガニの鳴くところ / ディーリア・オーエンズ

Over the past year, it’s become such a massively hyped book that I even felt a little hesitant to read it at first; however, the unique setting and strong female protagonist made the reading experience extraordinarily fantastic, all in all!

アメリカで出版され、英語圏で大ヒットとなった作品。人気すぎて読むのを躊躇ったほど。笑
読みだしたらあっという間!ステキな主人公とユニークな舞台設定に魅せられ、ページを捲る手が止まりませんでした。

Abandoned by her family, the protagonist Kya grows up alone in a shack in the swampland.

主人公のカイアは幼い頃に家族に見捨てられ、たった一人で湿地で暮らしています。

Honestly speaking, it took me a while to get into the core plot; the first few chapters of the book in particular were slow going. It sounded like a very typical ‘poor kids from a disadvantaged background’ kind of story, but if you feel the same I did, please do persist beyond these early moments. As the protagonist Kya grows and starts expressing her connection to the vast wealth of nature that makes up the swamp she lives in, the beauty of the scenery will utterly enchant you! The author Delia Owens’ experience and insights as a zoologist really made the book feel especially atmospheric and realistic.

正直なところ、最初の数章はいわゆる「貧しい環境の子供」的なストーリーに感じ、なかなか物語に入り込めなかったのですが、ここで私と同じように感じてもぜひ止めずに読み続けて!カイアが成長し、彼女を囲む自然との関わり合いを語り始める頃、その舞台に広がる大自然の美しい描写が胸を打ちます。著者のディリアさんは動物学の博士号を取得している学者なので、その知見が活きた描写は繊細で、リアル。文章を読みながら、カイアの暮らす世界が眼の前に浮かんでくるよう。

I want to avoid any sort of potential spoilers, so let me just say, this is not a typical coming-of-age book, but rather it’s wonderful to read how Kya grows up amidst both beautiful nature and lyrical languages. Her relationships with family, friends, boys and people in the nearby town were sometimes heartbreaking, but left me with a very warm aftertaste.

This is a book about acceptance and love, blossoming in the beautiful marshland setting. The suspenseful build-up and twist in the later half of the book was certainly a surprise for me, but contributed even more to its quality as a real page-turner!

ネタバレは絶対に避けたいタイプの本なので、簡潔に感想を残します。
この本はいわゆる主人公の成長物語の形式をとりつつも、そこに大自然と詩的な表現が加わることでとてもパーソナルで繊細な語り口の1冊に仕上がっています。家族、友人、男女の関わり、そして街の人々からの視線。貧困と差別の中で生きるカイアの成長を読者として見守るのは時に心が苦しくなりますが、とてもあたたかく力強い読後感です。
美しい沼地を舞台に、受容と愛について描いた1冊、物語後半のサスペンスな展開にはびっくりさせられましたが、これもページターナーの理由のひとつ。続きが気になる1冊です。

[AD – REVIEW COPY] I was provided a PR copy of this book by The Tandem Collective

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