Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens: A Must Read Summer Debut

Where The Crawdads Sing  by Delia Owens
Published August 14, 2018 by G. P. Putnam’s Sons
384 Pages
Buy From Amazon

From the Publisher: 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, aka the “Marsh Girl”


My Overall ThoughtsWhere the Crawdads Sing is a book you’ve probably been seeing everywhere lately whether it’s been blowing up your Instagram feed, hitting some of the late summer must read lists and recently making People Magazine’s Best Book Of the Week pick! If you’ve wondered if it’s possibly as good as everyone is making it out to be I’m here to give my two cents worth and say yes it is, so run, don’t walk, to buy or borrow it now.

What Initially Drew Me In
I was intrigued by the fact that the storyline involved a possible murder, an isolated “marsh girl” and the two men who get wrapped up in her world. Could this also be a love story? (hint: yes!) Funny thing was, when I really got into the story which alternates between 1969 and the 1950s, I almost forgot about the murder mystery part as I was so invested in Kya’s story.

Atmospheric Writing
Owen’s writing created a feeling of actually being in the marsh which truly became its own character . I felt the suspense of wondering how this little girl, abandoned by her entire family, was going to survive on her own. The townspeople saw her as “white trash” and, not surprisingly, did little to help her. There was, however, bright spots amongst the cruelty, one of them being a local man named Jumpin who was my favorite character after Kya. Speaking of Kya, if you’re at all worried that she’s a “weird” character who doesn’t want to connect with others, don’t be as her desire for companionship and to be cared about by others came through so clearly.

“The lonely became larger than she could hold. She wished for someone’s voice, presence, touch, but wished more to protect her heart.”

And possibly my favorite passage in the book…

“Sometimes she heard night-sounds she didn’t know or jumped from lightning too close, but whenever she stumbled, it was the land who caught her. Until at last, at some unclaimed moment, the heart-pain seeped away like water into sand. Still there, but deep. Kya laid her hand upon the breathing, wet earth, and the marsh became her mother.”

This is debut writing! Amazing!

A Flawless Second Half
I loved how Owens clearly combined her love of nature writing with her exploration of a little girl coming-of-age within the natural world. As for the mystery, I found it to be perfectly paced. The author hands us bits and pieces slowly, allowing this storyline to eventually merge with the past one and then really pick up speed. I found the last third of the book especially riveting as I couldn’t wait to find out if my theories were correct. They weren’t which I loved. As for the ending, I can honestly say I didn’t see one part coming and it left me a little stunned. 

You’ll be seeing this one on my top 10 reads of the year list, it’s just that good. I can’t wait for Delia Owen’s next book, I hope she writes fast! 

Thanks to G. P. Putnam’s Sons via Netgalley for my copy



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19 thoughts on “Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens: A Must Read Summer Debut

  1. You’re the reason I bought this book, and now after reading this, it’s going to have to be my next read!! I’m happy to hear there’s a little romance in it, too.


    1. I’m happy and nervous all at once Brandie:) I really hope you love it as much as I did! You and I like our love stories and I was so happy that this book included one along with a mystery…it really had a little bit of everything. Keep me updated when you read it:)


  2. This was just an amazing book, I loved it! I have no idea why I picked it up, certainly didn’t seem like a book I would like. I suppose it was on your recommendation, so thank you!


    1. You’re welcome Pam! I’m so happy you loved it, I’m happy if I influenced your decision to pick it up:) I think it just might be my top read of the year…so far:)


  3. Oh wow, that passage! The author writes really well. I have always admired and envied people who have such a way with words 🙂 This sounds like a wonderful read, Renee. Glad to hear that it made it to your list of favourites 🙂


    1. Diana the whole book has that type of writing! At a level above so much of what I’ve read this year. I hope you get a chance to read it, it’s worth it!!


  4. I loved Crawdads and agree that all of the accolades it’s getting are justified. I thought that Delia Owens created such a vivid character in telling us the tale of Kya. While my heart broke for her at times, I found her story and her resilience fascinating. I followed Crawdads up with VOX, another debut getting a lot of good reviews, and it was a perfect change. Anything too close to Crawdads would have been unreadable. I’ve already read The Book of Essie and now I’m at a loss for what should be next. Memoir? Louise Penny(need to restart as I’ve only read one and it was years ago), other?


    1. I completely agree with your thoughts on Crawdads, Kya will be one of my favorite characters for the year I’m sure. I have Vox and The Book of Essie on my tbr so I’m glad to hear they were both winners for you. I don’t read many memoirs but 2 excellent nonfictions I’ve read this year have been I’ll Be Gone in the Dark and The Sun Does Shine. I haven’t read Louise Penny but a detective series I really love is the one by Jane Casey. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!


      1. Thanks Renee. I’m always up for a nonfiction, especially when I’m in a bit of a reading slump. I’ve read I’ll Be Gone (super readable and creepy) but haven’t even heard of The Sun Does Shine. I need to check that out as well as Jane Casey. Thanks for your response!


  5. Thanks Renee. I’m always up for a nonfiction, especially when I’m in a bit of a reading slump. I’ve read I’ll Be Gone (super readable and creepy) but haven’t even heard of The Sun Does Shine. I need to check that out as well as Jane Casey. Thanks for your response!


  6. I wasn’t sure if I would like Crawdads at first, but then it blew me away. Just such an amazing book and Kya…what a character. I can’t describe her, but I’ll never forget her. Your review is just lovely (I’m so behind on mine!).


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