Where The Crawdads Sing Book Review

Genevieve Gard

Where The Crawdads Sing is written by Dehlia Owens and was released in 2018. The story switches between two different timelines, one following the main character, Kya, as she grows up, and the second story line is the present and follows a local murder trial. The setting is a small N.C. town in the 1950s-60s. Kya was abandoned by her family when she was young which led her to never attending school. Due to lack of childhood and education, she completely isolated herself from the community and became an outcast to society. However, Kya’s life changed when she met Tate Walker. Tate opens Kya up to a world of learning, compassion and intimacy that she has never seen before. This book blossoms in a beautiful romance intertwined with a murder mystery.

Owens paints such a vivid picture of the marsh by describing the intimate relationship Kya has with nature. Owens also uses the natural elements as a metaphor that relates to Kya. A common theme is that the marsh is a representation of Kya- lonely, wild and beautiful. The natural environment around her is what nurtured her when there was no one else to do so. The story is filled with heavy details about love and nature and how they go hand in hand. Even if you aren’t a nature nerd, anyone will find beauty in the earthy component of the story. 

When writing Where The Crawdads Sing, Dehlia Owens did not hesitate to cover a variety of heavy topics such as abuse, prejudice, sexual assault, rejection, isolation, etc. These topics give the story depth, which is why this book is so much more than your classic romance and/or murder mystery novel. It is full of gut-wrenching heartache which only adds to the rawness of the story. Where The Crawdads Sing allows readers to fall victim to so many emotions and, from my experience, a sort of attachment to these characters. I would confidently rate this book a 9/10 and recommend to those that can appreciate a coming of age romance.