Where The Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens

Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Celeste Ng, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens 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.


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.


Delia Owens is the co-author of three internationally bestselling nonfiction books about her life as a wildlife scientist in Africa—Cry of the Kalahari, The Eye of the Elephant, and Secrets of the Savanna. She has won the John Burroughs Award for Nature Writing and has been published in Nature, The African Journal of Ecology, and International Wildlife, among many others. She currently lives in Idaho, where she continues her support for the people and wildlife of Zambia. Where the Crawdads Sing is her first novel.


Where the Crawdads Sing is not my usual genre, but I had seen so many wonderful reviews I decided to take a break from my usual thriller reads and try something completely different and I am so glad I did.

Where the Crawdads Sing is an absolutely BEAUTIFUL book with exceptional character development, magical and atmospheric descriptions and the language was poetic, raw and breathtaking in places.

Set in the 1950’s and 60’s, Kya is a “Marsh Girl” brought up with her older siblings and parents in a shack deep in the North Carolina Coast within the Marshes.  At the tender age of 6 her mother walks out abandoning her children and husband and within a year the rest of the family have left leaving Kya alone to fend for herself.

This story centres around the mysterious death of a young man called Chase Andrews and we are taken back and forth from Kya’s earliest childhood memories to the time Chase’s body was found.

Without giving anything away Where the Crawdads Sing is a combination of historical fiction, mystery and coming of age.  The spellbinding words bring the Marshes to life and Kya is a character that literally jumps out of the pages, under your skin and buries herself deep into your heart.

This is an emotional story of love, loss, abandonment, fear and loneliness but the overall feel is hope.  Highly recommended.


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