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Review: Where The Crawdads Sing

Where the Crawdads Sing

Title: Where the Crawdads Sing
Author: Delia Owens
Genre: Literary Fiction
Page Count: 384
Published by: G.P. Putnam’s and Sons
Date Published: August 14, 2018
You can find it here: Bookshop.org


Abandoned at a young age, Kya “the marsh girl”, has learned to survive on her own in her beloved swamp for most of her life. Branded as trash and rejected by the residents of Berkley Cove, Kya is seen as wild and dangerous. So when local golden boy Chase Andrews is found dead, all eyes look to the marsh girl as the culprit.

But as the investigation continues, Barkley Coves’ predetermined prejudices are continually disproved. Intelligent, with an uncanny connection to her landscape, shy and sensitive Kya has not only survived, but thrived on her own. But what is the truth? And will it be enough to overcome deep rooted prejudice?

A heart-wrenching story with a vividly detailed exploration into the natural environment of the North Carolina swampland, Delia Owens weaves a compelling whodunit with a captivating coming of age romance. All the while exposing the incredible tenderness and cruelty of the human condition.


If Barbara Kingsolver, Fannie Flag, and Harper Lee created a literary child, it would be Delia Owens.

This impeccably detailed, well drawn story is incredibly reminiscent of some of my absolute favourite novels: Animal Dreams, Welcome to the World Baby Girl, The Giver of Stars and To Kill a Mockingbird. Delia Owens writes with the unhurried detail of a very confident, experienced writer, which is even more impressive considering this is her first foray into fiction.

But! Are you necessarily going to love this incredibly popular novel? Maybe not. Because I argue that this book is going to appeal to a very specific type of reader. Those who enjoy deliberately paced, character driven novels that are highly centred in extensively drawn, vivid natural landscapes, with a healthy dose of science and environmental/social commentary, are going to devour this story.

A  gorgeously written, compelling, and heartwarming story that is told with complete confidence, incredible insight, and significant environmental knowledge of subject matter. The world is absolutely transporting, the pacing deliberate, with dynamic and unforgettable characters. A lyrical book to be savoured and enjoyed slowly, you’ll find yourself rooting for Kya with every single page while learning and appreciating the immense beauty of the North Carolina “wasteland swamp”. I thoroughly enjoyed this beautiful narrative.

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