Book Review: Where the Crawdads Sing

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars.

Delia Owens is an inspiration to writers who have been putting down words for years without seeing them published. Although she was already a successful author of non-fiction books about her life as a wildlife scientist, Owens did not publish a novel until she was in her late sixties. Where the Crawdads Sing is her stunning debut into fiction.

The novel tells the story of Kya, the ragged little marsh girl who only attended school one day in her life yet grew up to be a beautiful and successful author of nature books, similar to Owens herself. The book begins when she is just six years old and follows her life journey as she tries to survive alone in the marsh she calls home, with only the gulls as friends.

The narrative jumps between the past and present every couple of chapters, and breath-taking nature description abounds in this wonderful book, which is a cross between a gripping crime novel and a tear-jerking love story. One of the most beautiful lines in the book is, “We are married. Like the geese.” I don’t mind admitting that made me cry until my eyes stung.

I recommend this novel to anyone who is a fan of contemporary fiction, especially those who appreciate nature, as I do. As someone who saw the film before reading the novel, I can confirm the two are pretty faithful to each other, but while the film is good, the book is much better.

Possibly the best novel I have read in several years.

View all my reviews.

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