Where the Crawdads Sing

Where the Crawdads Sing

Book - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"Fans of Barbara Kingsolver will love this stunning debut novel from a New York Times bestselling nature writer, about an unforgettable young woman determined to make her way in the wilds of North Carolina, and the two men that will break her isolation open. 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. But Kya is not what they say. Abandoned at age ten, she has survived on her own in the marsh that she calls home. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life lessons from the land, learning from the false signals of fireflies the real way of this world. But while she could have lived in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world--until the unthinkable happens. In Where the Crawdads Sing, Owens juxtaposes an exquisite ode to the natural world against a heartbreaking coming of age story and a surprising murder investigation. Thought-provoking, wise, and deeply moving, Owens's debut novel reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, [2018]
ISBN: 9780735219090
Branch Call Number: Owens, D
Characteristics: 370 pages : illustration ; 24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
JCLGladisO Dec 05, 2019

A coming of age story of abandonment, love, betrayal, and Murder. It is beautiful, sad and satisfying.

Dec 04, 2019

This book was highly recommended and never on the shelf in the library, so I read it when it was offered to me by a new friend. I don't particularly like romance; but I read this book from cover to cover in just a few days time because I felt it was important enough to my new friend that I at least owed that to her. I'm not a big fan of books that jump back and forth in time; but this book at least gave a year at the beginning of each chapter so that I knew where I was at. I always love figuring out why a book or a movie was given a particular title, so I was happy to learn that and not be guessing. The ending surprised me and came much too quickly, I thought.

Nov 28, 2019

This books lives up to all the praise it has received. It is an original and the protagonist and story are compelling. But I would have preferred a different ending. What the reader learns at the very end made me sad for the man who had lived with a woman he never really knew who was cruel enough to leave the evidence for him to find.

FPL_Supriya Nov 26, 2019

This is a great book! The main character Kya Clark is a strong girl who despite being abandoned fights for the right to love and forgive. The author Delia Owens has very successfully painted in words the haunting nature and beauty of the swamp where Kya grows up alone!

Nov 26, 2019

With so many peoples waiting for this book I was really disappointed when I finally got it.
The idea of any ten year old girl surviving in the marsh by herself is too unbelievable.

JCLHeatherM Nov 19, 2019

Delia Owen's debut fiction novel is a beautiful piece that challenges readers to look beyond the labels that we assign others in order to see the individual person. Gripping from start to finish, Owen spins multiple timelines together seamlessly to record a devastating incident and what led to the event.

Nov 18, 2019

I enjoyed this book, particularly the descriptions of the marsh, young Kya, and her illustrations. I'd have rated the book even higher, were it not for various things that seemed inexplicable related to the NC setting, Chase's wife, his demise, etc. For better or worse, it seems like it should be made into a movie. I liked the prose, especially in the first part of the book, so am interesting in reading another title by this author.

Nov 14, 2019

I was left disappointed with this book. It just didn't ring true to me. The setting is a fictional town on the NC coast, which I have no problem with, but the different characters kept going to Asheville (!?) to get stuff. That makes no sense at all. It read to me like someone who has spent a lot of time in marshes along the Southeast coast, but, as a native North Carolinian, I did not feel like the author really got North Carolina specifically. It bugged me enough to go look up her bio. I saw that she is from Georgia and now lives in Idaho. The setting felt more like the Georgia coast to me. The bit about Asheville was just superfluous and could have been subbed with any number of other cities. I think this book would have worked better if she had set it along the Georgia coast, but I was willing to overlook the little missteps like that and some of the dialogue, but then the rushed last part of the book and the ending left a sour taste in my mouth. I did like the beginning of the book better and really liked the idea of a "Marsh Girl", but it just didn't hang together the way I wanted it to. I would give this book an "okay", but definitely don't get all the love for it. There are better Southern and North Carolinian books out there.

For a book that has some similarities to this novel I highly recommend "Refuge" by Dot Jackson, who was a native North Carolinian who wrote for the Charlotte Observer for years. It is absolutely spot-on with dialect and sense of place. CHPL does have it. I read it ten years ago and it still hangs with me.

And it is in no way as good as anything Barbara Kingsolver has ever written in my estimation. Kingsolver is always spot on with facts and dialect and dialogue. Owens fell short.

Nov 13, 2019

I'm just not sure why this has been so popular. Some parts were lovely, and the author did a nice job evoking the atmosphere of the Outer Banks, the time and place. The beginning of the novel was the best, getting to know the main character, Kya, and getting a feel for her world. And there is some intrigue, as we're taken back and forth from her childhood story to a current murder investigation.

But I found too much of the plot, and the dialogue, just too unbelievable, implausible. I was intrigued enough to keep reading through the somewhat tedious YA romance and the last half, but mostly in the hopes that the story would redeem itself.

But no, implausible. Right to the end. Ugh. Maybe if there wouldn't have been such hype, if I had gone in with lower expectations, I would have been more forgiving and liked it better??

FPL_Lori Nov 11, 2019

This book lives up to the hype and blends all the genres. If you love vivid descriptions of nature, murder mysteries, and romance, you'll love "Where the Crawdads Sing."

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
Oct 31, 2019

t3485tank thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Sep 19, 2019

AliceInWonderbread thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

Aug 07, 2019

nherrera61 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


Add a Quote
Jun 24, 2019

“She knew the years of isolation had altered her behavior until she was different from others, but it wasn't her fault she'd been alone. Most of what she knew, she'd learned from the wild. Nature had nurtured, tutored, and protected her when no one else would.”

Jun 24, 2019

“I wasn't aware that words could hold so much. I didn't know a sentence could be so full.”

Jun 24, 2019

“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.”


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at GBPL

To Top