Let’s go to ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ by Delia Owens

“I wadn’t aware that words could hold so much. I didn’t know a sentence could be so full.” Delia Owens’s debut fiction novel is bursting at the seams with full, beautiful sentences.

Where the Crawdads Sing is awe-inspiring with a bewitching story set in the wonders of nature — the Marsh. Which you’ll find is filled with love, hope, regret, and despair.

This book follows Kya Clark, dubbed the “Marsh Girl”, throughout different stages of her life. From early on in her childhood, right up until the end.

Kya is left alone and abandoned by her family; one by one, they all leave. She’s then, quite literally, taken in and raised by Mother Nature. Pardon the pun.

For years, rumours 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.

Book Blurb

As a story, Where the Crawdads Sing covers it all. It’ll keep you on the edge of your seat, having you waiting for the next page.

The book will take you on an emotional journey through Kya’s survival, her facing off against prejudice, and her experiences with romance.

My favourite part about this book is the poetry scattered throughout. They were thought-provoking, and moving.

The story had me on the ride of my life, as it tugged at my heartstrings. The characters were relatable and felt three-dimensional. They all had their own motivations and reasoning.

However, best of all was how the author made the setting and town feel alive. Through Kya, we see a glimpse into another world that coexists with our own — we get an intimate look into the Marsh and its ecosystem.

Which is what I think makes Where the Crawdads Sing so incredibly unique. It’s not your run-of-the-mill romance story, and I’ve never read something quite like it.

I believe this is only made possible because of the author’s history and background. Previously, Owens worked as a wildlife scientist, which she has published multiple non-fiction books on.

Her experiences with nature are what make Where the Crawdads Sing shine. She makes the Marsh feel authentic. It isn’t just the setting for the story, it is the beating heart of the story.

Owens also backs this up with her extraordinary writing skills. She can’t be beat! Every scene is filled with gorgeous and vivid imagery.

“Autumn leaves don’t fall; they fly. They take their time and wander on this, their only chance to soar. Reflecting sunlight, they swirled and sailed and fluttered on the wind drafts.”

It’s almost as if you’re there, surrounded by the flying leaves, and feeling the breeze of autumn gush past.

This isn’t just a one off either, nearly every paragraph in her book flows elegantly, like a shimmering stream. Where the Crawdads Sing is beautifully written from beginning to end.

I’ve been noticing online that this book has been subject to pretty mixed reviews. People are finding they either love it or hate it.

If you’ve come across any hate online, you should still give this book a chance! Even if you don’t fall in love with it immediately, I still think it has plenty to offer.

Personally, it had me captivated, and I’d recommend this book wholeheartedly. I was following Kya’s journey right down to the letter.

In the future, you’ll find me out Where the Crawdad’s Sing, waiting patiently for Delia Owens’s future novels.

You can check out my other book reviews here. If you want to stay up to date with all things me, follow me on Twitter!

By Camellia Hao Ren

Camellia Hao Ren is an Australian journalist and editor. When they aren't writing, they are usually playing games or reading.

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