Book Review: Where the Crawdad’s Sing by Delia Owens (2018)

Where the Crawdads Sing is a novel by Delia Owens. The plot of the novel revolves around a young girl named Kya Clark, who is abandoned by her family in the marshes of North Carolina. The story is divided into two timelines, one that follows Kya’s life as a young girl growing up in the marsh, and the other that follows the investigation of a murder that takes place years later.

As a young girl, Kya learns to survive on her own in the marsh. She is often ridiculed and shunned by the people of the nearby town, who refer to her as the “Marsh Girl.” However, Kya finds solace in the natural world around her and becomes an expert in the flora and fauna of the marsh.

Years later, a popular young man from the town, Chase Andrews, is found dead in the marsh. The town immediately suspects Kya, who is known to have had a relationship with Chase. Kya is put on trial, and her past is revealed in detail. Through flashbacks, we learn about Kya’s relationships with her family, her first love, and her struggle to survive in the marsh.

As the trial progresses, it becomes clear that Kya is not the killer, and the true culprit is eventually revealed. The novel ends with Kya’s realization that she is not alone in the world and that she has found a new family among the people who have come to know and love her for who she is.

Where the Crawdads Sing is a poignant and beautifully written novel that explores the themes of isolation, love, and loss. Delia Owens has crafted a masterful work of literary fiction that transports readers to the marshes of North Carolina and immerses them in the world of Kya Clark, the Marsh Girl.

One of the strengths of the novel is the way in which Owens weaves together two timelines, one that follows Kya’s childhood and adolescence, and the other that follows the murder investigation. The reader is drawn into Kya’s world, experiencing her joys and sorrows, and feeling her isolation and loneliness. The setting of the marsh is beautifully rendered, and the descriptions of the flora and fauna are vivid and evocative.

The character of Kya is compelling and complex. She is a survivor, but also vulnerable and in need of human connection. The relationships she forms with others, particularly with a young man named Tate, are portrayed with sensitivity and nuance. The other characters in the novel are also well-drawn, each with their own quirks and motivations.

The murder mystery plotline adds an extra layer of tension and intrigue to the novel. While it is not the primary focus of the story, it is well-executed and keeps the reader engaged.

Where the Crawdads Sing is a beautifully written and thought-provoking novel that explores the human condition in a unique and compelling way. It is a must-read for fans of literary fiction and those who enjoy stories of resilience, love, and the power of the natural world. You can get a copy of this lyrical and beautiful mystery from Amazon here.


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