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Where the Crawdads Sing

rating: ★★★★★
title: Where the Crawdads Sing
author: Delia Owens
release date: August 14, 2018
setting: North Carolina
publisher: Putnam
genres: historical fiction, historical romance

Where the Crawdads Sing is a beautifully heartbreaking tale about a girl who never had a chance, but who made a life for herself. Living on the outskirts of town, she is shunned by the “well to do” people of their town, while still making a life for herself in an incredibly educated way, and making friends with the local black man, selling his goods.

In this, Kya, the “Marsh Girl” watches her mom leave her at the age of six. If that was not enough, in the subsequent years, she loses almost the entirety of her family. Alone with her absent father, she must fully learn what it is to fend for herself. When he finally leaves her and there is no one else, she must pretend to the town and the truancy officer that she is not, in fact, alone…

Even though she is alone, she is taught to read and write by Tate, a friend of her older brother’s. He takes the time to bring her outdated and used textbooks from the school she was shunned from. With his tutelage, she has the basis to learn all she needs about her secret home in the marsh. She learns even more than she could in school. With the help of the texts he brings her, she manages to create an elaborate database of life in the homeostasis she inhabits.

I was not anticipating how this novel would hit me. In this book, Kya must deal with the accusation of murder. It is not enough that she was never given a chance at life… But the fact that in her successful adult life, though she was never given the opportunity to even remotely succeed, she could possibly have committed the worst crime possible, she is put under the harshest scrutiny.

We watch alongside the people who have been there in Kya’s corner no matter what. Did she commit the heinous crime she has been charged of?

This was an incredibly emotional take into the life of a Kya through her years of sadness, knowledge and growth. I am so happy to have been a part of that journey, no matter how simple or small. This was truly a tale of undying love and devotion. A story of self-worth and self-discovery, and of not squandering that self-worth when it was discovered.


For years, rumors 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.

Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens 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.


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