Book Reviews

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

I read Where the Crawdads Sing for the first time back in 2019. I thought it would be dry and boring, but it was NOT. They’re currently filming a Crawdads movie, so I thought I’d give it a re-read.

The Story

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet fishing village. Kya Clark is barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when the popular Chase Andrews is found dead, locals immediately suspect her.

But Kya is not what they say. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life’s lessons from the land, learning the real ways of the world from the dishonest signals of fireflies. But while she has the skills to live in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world—until the unthinkable happens.

In Where the Crawdads Sing, Owens juxtaposes an exquisite ode to the natural world against a profound coming of age story and haunting mystery. Thought-provoking, wise, and deeply moving, Owens’s debut novel reminds us that we are forever shaped by the child within us, while also subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

The story asks how isolation influences the behavior of a young woman, who like all of us, has the genetic propensity to belong to a group. The clues to the mystery are brushed into the lush habitat and natural histories of its wild creatures.

My Thoughts

This is such a solid five-star book. The book follows two timelines: Kya growing up, and present day. The timelines do converge, but it’s all done just effortlessly.

It’s empowering to see a story of a girl who essentially raised herself. She was driven to education and the perfect example of hands-on learning. In a nutshell, if you work and believe in yourself, you can achieve anything.

One thing you should know about me: I don’t read the “extras” in books. Poems, forwards, author’s notes… I almost always skip over them. DON’T SKIP THE POEMS. I did the first time when I read it on my Kindle Paperwhite, and regretted it.

I would highly recommend Where the Crawdads Sing. It’s a great book that deserves reading. I promise, you will DEVOUR it. Delia Owens writes so well and so descriptively without bogging you down in the details. If I had a pool day or was a passenger on a long car trip, I would almost definitely have been able to read it in one sitting.

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