Where the Crawdads Sing first came to my attention in March after popping up continuously in my social media. This book has received quite a large amount of publicity after it was picked up by Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club; so of course I had to give it a go.
Immediately the premise intrigued me with a mixture of mystery and romance. As a biology student at university I was particularly interested; I had read many reviews commending Owens on her writing about nature – not surprising as she herself has a BS in Zoology.
Overall I greatly enjoyed the book, and it was indeed written beautifully. Owen’s writing about the natural world is both striking and ethereal, one of the strongest aspects of the novel. Alongside this appreciation for the natural world a tale of loss and love is woven; the plot is driven by the mystery surrounding the death of Chase Andrews.
There were many aspects of this novel which I enjoyed. Particularly, the last hundred pages gripped me, and the final plot twist took me completely off-guard. While I would say it took my a couple of chapters to get into the book, once I did I devoured it. Owens includes many different themes in the novel which she explores: loneliness, race and family. I would say the most prominent was Kya’s, (the main character) battle with loneliness. The exploration of how Kya deals with loneliness, and the relationships she forms was interesting; in the same way in which ‘mother Earth’ is made almost literal. Nature is personified, shaping the character of Kya as she moves through adolescence influencing both her actions and thoughts towards the world. Kya makes several different types of relationships throughout the novel; Owens lightly delves into prejudices and the influence of society.
What really stood out from the novel for me was the lyrical descriptions of nature. The book is somewhat an honouring of the natural Earth; some of my favourite quotes elegantly describe Kya’s world,
“Autumn leaves don’t fall; they fly. They take their time and wander on [the wind], their only chance to soar.”
“Faces change with life’s toll, but eyes remain a window to what was”.Where the Crawdads Sing – By Delia Owens
Structurally, the pace of the book was good. The interwoven time-spans kept the storyline moving forward, ultimately culminating in the comparatively short and abrupt chapters of the murder trial – a nice juxtaposition from the previous chapters set in the marsh.
The only aspect of the book which I questioned was the very end. I took several days to mull over what I thought about it, and whether it was needed; I’m currently waiting for my family members to finish reading the book so we can discuss!
I enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it if you enjoy mystery, coming-of-age books and some romance.
Age Range: Adult
Publisher: G.P Putnam’s Sons
If you’ve managed to get to this point, thank you, and I hope you are well!
Happy reading x