Where the Crawdads Sing

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

“Autumn leaves don’t fall, they fly. They take their time and wander on this their only chance to soar. “

Finishing a great book is like ending a great relationship; you have to spend some time mulling it over, replaying each of the moments in clear detail. You realize its impact will be forever etched in your mind, knowing it will be a while before you can begin another without constantly thinking of the one you’ve just ended.

For me, Where the Crawdads Sing is one of those books. Delia Owens delivers an astonishing and heart-wrenching debut novel. Haunting and beautiful, the lyrical prose drove me to journal quote after quote. A speed reader by trade, I found myself slowing down to marinate on the language, letting the descriptions of the southern marshlands and the pain of isolation wash over me. Owens, in aching detail, reveals the beauty of nature and people, while also examining the ugliness of both.

In a dual-timeline plot, the story follows Kya, a child abandoned by her family in the harshness of poverty in the 1950’s, along with the murder of the town golden boy, Chase Crawford, in the late 1960’s, finally converging in an explosive ending.

In an amazing coming-of-age story, the protagonist, Kya, made me want to stand and say, “I am woman; hear me roar” as she navigates her small, isolated world. Left at such a young age to fend for herself, unable to read or write, Kya must use her knowledge of her much-beloved marsh and nature to help her survive the world and people around her. Her hunger for simple human connection and the mistrust of that same connection warring inside of her, Kya tries to open herself up to others. Some accept and return that openness, while others take advantage of it, serving as the heart of the plot.

This book truly has everything you could possibly want in a book–mystery, romance, nature, and the haunting knowledge that survival instincts are needed both in the wild and with people.

I give this book 5 (million) stars and recommend it for anyone and everyone. Now, please excuse me while I cry into my pillow and enjoy my book hangover in peace.


“His dad told him many times that the definition of a real man is one who cries without shame, reads poetry with his heart, feels opera in his soul, and does what is necessary to defend a woman.”

“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.”

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