Book Review: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens


In Barkely Cove, a small quiet town (well the thing about small towns is that they are never quiet, endless chatter and gossip carries the day) in North Carolina has been the bed of rumors of the “Marsh Girl.”

So when the body of the handsome, coulda-been great athlete, Chase Andrews, is found in the late 1969, and the Sheriff calls it foul play, then everyone knows it was the Marsh Girl who killed him, but what’s even sad is that the one they call the Marsh Girl is Danielle Clark. She’s an author, artist and writer who has kept a detailed and intricate recording of the nature and creatures in the swamp.

She’s also ‘Kya’ the little girl who had to grow up on her own, whom they laughed at for spelling dog as G-o-d on her first day of school. The girl whose Mama and siblings up and walked away, leaving her to fend for herself and steer clear of her Pa’s drunken state and his surly moods.

She’s a wild beauty, but where people see what’s untamed, Tate Walker saw a friend, a possibility and taught her how to read and write and urged her to share her work with the scientific world, but also broke her trust so bad, she lost herself in her anguish.

Where the Crawdads Sing is a pleasure to read in one sitting. You can enjoy it in the silence of your own room, out in the garden…or create your own world of silence just as long as you are undisturbed and do not have to stir, because you might miss the glimpse of humanity, the lively descriptions of the marsh that bring it to life and the story of a love unbound and unbroken by prejudice and time.

It began with an invitation, “Well, we better hide way out there where the crawdads sing. I pity any foster parents who take you on.” Tate’s whole face smiled.

“Please don’t talk to me about isolation. No one has to tell me how it changes a person. I have lived it. I am isolation,” Kya whispered with a slight edge.


Where to get the book: Random House and Amazon

About the authorDelia 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. Photo of Delia Owens