Book Review – Where The Crawdads Sing

Where The Crawdads Sing
By Delia Owens
Little Brown Book Group
UK Release Date:
Rating: *****

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.


I can honestly say hand on heart this is by far the best novel I have read in 2018. (and I read over 70 books) I first saw this advertised on Reece Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine Book Club, it was her September pick and as soon as I heard her talking about this book with such passion I knew it was one I had to read.

“I can’t even express how much I love this book! I didn’t want this story to end!” Reese Witherspoon

I couldn’t agree more, I got 70% through the book and as much as I wanted to know the ending I also didn’t want the book to end. Why is this book so good? Well not only is Delia Owens a beautiful writer but the murder mystery / romance storyline is very gripping.

The story centres around a young girl named Kya “The Marsh Girl” since she was 7 years old her family continue to abandon her, all her siblings and also her own mother. Why do they go? because Kya’s father is a difficult man, an alcoholic gambler who has a very bad temper. Kya is left in the marsh with just her angry Pa, who is little comfort or support for a young girl.

As time goes by Kya grows older, and it’s time for her to get an education, she doesn’t like her one day at school as she is yet again rejected, so never goes back and takes solace in the marsh, her motherland, her home. She learns a lot about nature, animals, birds, shells and makes friends with the wildlife. She becomes extremely independent for a young girl which is amazing but you can really feel how deep her loneliness, isolation and rejection is and I found that sad. I just wanted to tell her everything would be okay for her. She gets on with her simple life but deep down you can sense she just wants to be accepted and loved.

Running alongside the storyline of Kya growing up is a flash forward to the future, where the body of Chase Andrews a popular young man of the town has been found dead in the marsh. There is speculation of murder and a town who has been rejecting Kya all her life are quick to come to conclusions that it may of been her…

Throughout the novel Kya is rejected and misunderstood. I can’t begin to imagine how she felt growing up alone in a marsh with no one there. But her resilience and drive to make things work is commendable, she creates her own family with some helpful towns people, a romance and of course her gulls. Kya is a beautiful character and I loved everything about her lost soul.

Delia Owens has crafted a book that just oozes beauty, I have never felt so engrossed with a storyline before and the detail of description of the marsh and its creatures was so amazing I felt like I was there in the marshes watching Kya’s life unfold through the trees close by.

This is Owen’s first fictional novel and I can’t wait for her to write more. In the mean time I will be re-reading Where The Crawdads Sing and recommending this book to everyone! A massive 5*s from me and my favourite read of the 2018 and I urge you to buy a copy for yourself! Katie x

*Thank you to NetGalley and Little Brown Book Group for this advanced copy of Where The Crawdads Sing to read and review honestly.*

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