Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

“A painfully beautiful first novel that is at once a murder mystery, a coming-of-age narrative and a celebration of nature…. Owens here surveys the desolate marshlands of the North Carolina coast through the eyes of an abandoned child. And in her isolation that child makes us open our own eyes to the secret wonders — and dangers — of her private world.”


Delia Owens is the co-author of three internationally bestselling nonfiction books about her life as a wildlife scientist in Africa—Cry of the Kalahari, The Eye of the Elephant, and Secrets of the Savanna. She has won the John Burroughs Award for Nature Writing and has been published in Nature, The African Journal of Ecology, and International Wildlife, among many others. She currently lives in Idaho, where she continues her support for the people and wildlife of Zambia. Where the Crawdads Sing is her first novel.

The Grateful Reader Review by Dorothy Schwab

“Kya remembered Ma always encouraging her to explore the marsh: “Go as far as you can-way out yonder where the crawdads sing.” The North Carolina coastal marshes and swamp, a murder, and a young girl abandoned since she was 7, are mushed into the most glorious novel of a young girl finding her power and voice among the seashells, fireflies, and mushrooms; all the while surviving on her own gumption and sass. The descriptions are so delicately painted by Delia’s prose that it seems The Sea Shells of the Eastern Seaboard, by Catherine Danielle Clark, should be available on Amazon!

The novel has a dual timeline; alternating between Kya, the Marsh Girl’s childhood, and the accidental death, or was it murder- of Chase Andrews, a former standout quarterback at the local high school. The exquisite details of the sunsets, fog, marshes, and close up views of insects and plants are woven among the tense, prejudice-filled opinions of the locals and how they feel about the uneducated, “marsh trash”, so aptly named, the Marsh Girl.

Where the Crawdads Sing has been on the New York Times Bestseller list for 27 weeks, currently. This is for extremely good reason! Readers will feel the music of the gulls’ wings as they flock to be fed, followed by the haunting verses of poetry recited by Catherine as she explores the marshes. Catherine confronts her own feelings of loneliness & abandonment, trusting people again, forgiveness and the empowerment of sheer survival. If she can survive, anyone can.

If only the rare sea shells, bird feathers and marsh grasses, so beautifully described, were actually in watercolor and print; but you do have Where the Crawdads Sing, to read over and over, until the glorious images are imprinted in your mind. Sheer Joy!

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