Book Review: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Reviewed: November 12th 2021
Released: November 8th, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Literature

For years, rumors of the ‘Marsh Girl’ have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl.

But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved.

When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life – until the unthinkable happens.

Helen’s thoughts: 5/5

What a wonderful book. I thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in the 1950’s North Carolina marshlands. Beautifully written with prose that is poetic and lyrical and amazingly emotive. The description of the marshes are so evocative and apt, you could imagine yourself standing there, hearing the birds sing, and the critters warble.

This book deserves every accolade it receives, because Owens has truly written a masterpiece. Such a clever premise, with Kya, the abandoned child left to survive in the marshes on her own, learning though nature how to live. She learns to survive, and at the same learns about the wonderful the natural environment around her. The lessons she learns she applies to her own life as the human world around her is prejudiced and unforgiving.

At times sad, at others uplifting, you’ll find yourself reaching for the tissues. At the core is a beautiful love story, woven in with an intriguing mystery and a coming of age tale. So very clever. I want to chat about that ending, but it would spoil the story for you.

Kya is an inspirational character, independent, strong, naive and yet full of love and life, no matter what situation she has been dealt with. This is a rich and rewarding book, well worth reading. As Kya herself says: “I wasn’t aware that words could hold so much. I didn’t know a sentence could be so full.”

About the author:

Delia Owens is the co-author of three internationally bestselling non-fiction books about her life as a wildlife scientist in Africa, including Cry of the Kalahari.

She has won the John Burroughs Award for Nature Writing and has been published in Nature, the African Journal of Ecology and many others. 

She currently lives in North Carolina. Where the Crawdads Sing is her first novel.

Where the Crawdads Sing

Link to book on Amazon UK: eBook | Paperback

Link to book on Amazon US: Paperback | Audiobook

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