Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Where the Crawdads Sing
Delia Owens


Kya Clark is six years old when her mother walks out of the shack they call home. The falling-down structure is hidden in the marshes of North Carolina, outside the fictional coastal town of Barkley Cove, a place where racial tension and small-town prejudices are firmly in place. The shack is the only place the Clark family knows, where her father’s abusive rages have terrified Kya, her mother and her siblings. Soon her older siblings run, leaving only Kya and her father, who provides her with nothing but fear. And then one day it’s just Kya, known in town and shunned as the wild Marsh Girl.

The story begins in 1952 and jumps to 1969, when a young man named Chase Andrews has died. In alternating chapters, readers learn Kya’s story of survival and how she becomes part of the investigation into Chase’s death.

Kya may be a “marsh girl,” but she has extraordinary talents that enable her to devise ways to survive and battle her loneliness, trying to understand why everyone has left her. Fearful of other people, she learns how to live as one of nature’s creatures, reaching out to just a few trusted souls who help her.

Then one day, she meets a boy, Tate Walker, who shyly leaves her presents, and a tentative friendship begins. “She’d never had a friend, but she could feel the use of it, the pull.” Their relationship grows and changes with them, opening her eyes to a larger world. But time and outside pressure soon bring disappointment and loss, leaving Kya alone once again.

I don’t want to give away too much, because the joy of this fantastic story is in reading it first-hand. I have always loved books that include nature as a character, with themes of its strong influence on human behavior. Delia Owens, with her unique background as an award-winning wildlife scientist, has created a beautiful coming-of-age story in which nature’s beauty and harsh instincts play a major role. I read this book non-stop over the course of three days, not because I wanted to get through it, but because I was so invested in Kya’s world.

If you’re looking for a high-quality read to fit it before the end of the year, I highly recommend Where the Crawdads Sing. It measures up to all the hype and the hundreds of thousands of positive reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

28 thoughts on “Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

  1. Funny. I just finished this book yesterday (Book club) I thought it was good, but I think it was o or hyped. The story was ok, the language was ok, but I was actually underwhelmed. The funny part if this is that I mocked someone else in my book club who hated it(before I read it) cause everyone raves about it!!

    1. Interesting! I am always skeptical of books that get so much hype, but for me, this book lived up to the praise. I often purposely don’t read the super popular books right away, because of the hype thing. Thanks for stopping in LA 🙂

  2. Barbara, I’ve seen a lot of this book about but been sitting on the fence whether to read it! Your lovely and informative review has totally convinced me … and I’m putting this on my Christmas list! Books are still the best presents to give or receive! 😀

    1. I was waiting until it was available at the library, but the holds list has been so long. Finally, I just did the book rental and read it fast. Totally worth it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. And yes, books are the best gifts 🙂 Thanks for stopping by, Annika. Hope you are doing well!

  3. After being on a waiting list for MONTHS, I finally got to read this acclaimed book. I agree” it lived up to the hype. Delia’s background as a botanist certainly helped her with those vivid descriptions. This week my husband will pick up the audio version.

    Great review, Barbara, and well worth the time!

    1. Thank you, Marian. I’m glad you enjoyed it as much as I did. Our library holds list is miles long! Glad you finally got your hands on a copy. I’d be interested in knowing how the audio version is. Thanks for the visit 🙂

    1. I know you loved the book too – I was so pleased with the book. It’s the kind I’d read more than once. I think it will be considered a classic one day. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

    1. Hi Ann – it seems as if everyone is either reading it, has just finished it, or is getting ready to read it. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Thanks so much for stopping by. I’m behind in my blog visits, but I’ll be over soon!

    1. I loved it – it’s so popular here, I almost stayed away completely because I don’t like to jump on the bandwagon, but I’m glad I did. Thanks so much for stopping by. I’m behind in my blog visiting – such a busy time of the year, but I’ll be over soon 🙂

  4. Hi, Barbara – I agree with your review 100%. Although I too am usually sceptical of popular, ‘hype’ books, I found that I could not put this novel down. As you wisely stated, Nature as a character was very powerful. I too quickly became invested in Kya’s world.

    1. Oh yes, I loved this book so much and also could not put it down. I was sorry I waited so long to read it, but very glad I did. I love stories with Nature as a character – it takes things to a new level. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

      1. I’m off to check what other books I have read recently, that you have also covered. I love getting the opinions of others regarding books that I have read. And I greatly enjoy your reviews.

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