Rating: 4 out of 5 ⭐️
Title: Where the Crawdads Sing: A Novel
Author: Delia Owens
Published: 2018 (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, New York)
Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Murder-Mystery
“That’s what sisters and girlfriends are all about. Sticking together even in the mud, ’specially in mud” – Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing
I saw so many reviews of this book online, I almost thought about not writing one. It was published in 2018, and I still see this book spoken about regularly in 2020 like it came out yesterday. Maybe it has to do with the fact that this book topped The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers of 2019 and 2020. This is the author’s, Delia Owens, first novel. She has a zoology background, and that knowledge shines forth in the descriptions of nature and wildlife in Where the Crawdads Sing.
“Female fireflies draw in strange males with dishonest signals and eat them; mantis females devour their own mates. Female insects, Kya thought, know how to deal with their lovers” – Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing
I really enjoyed this book! I can’t believe I waited until now to read it. The story is heartwarming, exquisite and thought-provoking. This novel centers around the coming-of-age story of Catherine “Kya” Clark as she grows from child to young woman. Abandoned at a young age, Kya learns to fend for herself in the marshes of rural North Carolina, and the earth becomes her mother and teacher. She becomes known as “Marsh Girl” to the rest of her town, and is treated like an outsider. Kya becomes entangled with two men, as friends and more. One of them tells their own perspective for a portion of the book. Kya builds a full and lonely life for herself over the course of her story, until a popular young man in town named Chase Andrews is murdered. Then all eyes are on Kya and an investigation ensues.
“I wadn’t aware that words could hold so much. I didn’t know a sentence could be so full” – Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing
Where the Crawdads Sing has quite a few themes. The book touches between the natural world and the world of man, and how they’re connected through Kya’s observations. There were many notable and beautiful quotes (as you can probably tell by how many quotes I cite in this review). Kya’s story is completely human, and the author built her shy and perceptive character so well. The author investigates what loneliness truly means, and it is not choosing to be alone. She also centers on belonging and the natural world in line with man. The murder-mystery twist kept me on my toes, and I devoured page after page wondering what was going to happen next.
“She’d given love a chance; now she wanted simply to fill the empty spaces. Ease the loneliness while walling off her heart” – Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing
I recommend reading this book if you’re looking for a heartfelt and sometimes sad story, balanced with murder and suspense. Where the Crawdads Sing was surprising for how romantic it seemed by the description, but the story was much more. I suggest going into reading this with an open mind. The beginning was a little slow, but the book picks up after the first quarter.
“Don’t go on thinking poetry’s just for sissies. There’s mushy love poems, for sure, but there’s also funny ones, lots about nature, war even. Whole point of it-they make ya feel something” – Delia Owens, Where the Crawdads Sing
Overall, I give this book a 4 out of 5!