Sunday, December 09, 2018

Review: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Title: Where the Crawdads Sing
Author: Delia Owens
Published: August 2018, G.P. Putnam's Sons
Format: ARC Paperback, 384 pages
Source: Publisher

Fans of Barbara Kingsolver will love this stunning debut novel from a New York Times bestselling nature writer, about an unforgettable young woman determined to make her way in the wilds of North Carolina, and the two men that will break her isolation open.
For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. She's barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark.

But Kya is not what they say. Abandoned at age ten, she has survived on her own in the marsh that she calls home. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life lessons from the land, learning from the false signals of fireflies the real way of this world. But while she could have lived 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 heartbreaking coming of age story and a surprising murder investigation. Thought-provoking, wise, and deeply moving, Owens's debut novel reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

My thoughts: Oh, this book! This book is one of those books that as soon as I finished, I wanted to read all over again...and while I haven't yet, I will say, I have not stopped thinking of this book since I finished reading it. It's also one of those books that is so hard to put into words just how much you love it...because you know you will never be able to find the right words to do justice for all the things this book means to you - how beautiful the writing is and all the emotions it evokes in you. That's what this book is - and that's why it took me so long to write this review because every single time I started it, I felt it was inadequate.

Right away, I felt an emotional attachment to Kya and that attachment only grew the further I got into the book. Kya is all but abandoned by first her mother, and then slowly the rest of her family and pretty much left to fend for herself in the North Carolina marsh area. You cannot help but feel for her as she learns how to navigate this world on her own.

While this book is in part a mystery, I much more preferred the coming of age story of Kya. Yes, I was intrigued by the murder - was he in fact murdered or not, and if so, by who? - and I did like how the story alternated between 1969 when the murder happened and the 1950's where we follow Kya growing up, but I will say, it is these earlier years that really shine in my mind. This is where Delia Owens takes her love of nature writing to give us this unique coming-of-age story of a young girl living in the marsh, learning to survive on her own, learning to depend on herself and only herself.

This is the type of book that you know you will be thinking of for a long time to come...and I know I will most definitely be rereading this again in the future. For a debut novel, Delia Owens knocked it out of the park and I cannot wait to see what comes next for her...she is definitely going on my must watch author list, for sure! If you have not picked this book up, I highly recommend doing will not be disappointed!



  1. Thank your for a wonderful review.

  2. Fantastic. This is next on my reading list - from the library. And so many good things written about it and now your high recommendation. Awesome.


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