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A no spoilers book review of “Where The Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens.
With the movie version now out in the world, I decided a quick reread before the movie hit theaters was in order. I first read this book back in January of 2020 and enjoyed the story. I think a small part of me also just wanted to revisit Kya at the marsh.
This story follows two timelines, which slowly intertwine. The first timeline describes the life and adventures of a young girl named Kya as she grows up isolated in the marsh of North Carolina between 1952 and 1969. The second timeline follows an investigation into the apparent murder of Chase Andrews, a local celebrity of Barkley Cove, a fictional North Carolina coastal town.
There are two aspects of this book I absolutely love.
Kya and the marsh.
Delia Owens put a lot of work into Kya as a character and it shows. She is soft yet strong. Quiet and loud. Naive but incredibly intelligent. She is one of my favorite fictional characters next to Evelyn Hugo in “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid.
[You can find my review of that book here.]
The marsh was also carefully crafted in this book. Delia Owens filled my head with lush imagery of the marshlands, where Kya lives. She lives in a shack, on the marshlands with her family, who one by one leave her. Despite the intense sadness of Kya’s upbringing, the beautiful descriptions of the marshlands are a nice respite. For us as readers, and also Kya.
The townspeople of Barkley Cove do not approve of Kya or her family. She is shunned and often treated more like a street dog than a little girl who needs guidance and compassion.
However, despite Kya’s isolated upbringing, she is able to make personal connections. Kya makes these newfound connections with, Chase Andrews, and Tate Walker.
Does Chase Andrew’s name sound familiar?
It should. There is a complicated, sort of, love triangle that begins to unfold between Kya, Chase, and Tate.
Also, Chase Andrews is mentioned in the synopsis as a murder victim. Which adds another layer of suspense to an already interesting and layered story.
The book does turn a bit into a murder mystery towards the end. If murder mysteries are your thing, you will enjoy this added layer of plot. If murder mysteries are not your thing, be warned.
While the murder mystery aspect of the novel helps wrap up the story nicely, I do wish Delia Owens might have considered alternative ways to end the story.
Despite my small dislikes of the book, all are heavily outweighed by all of the things I did enjoy. This was the first book I have re-read in a long time and it reminds me of why I enjoy re-reading so much.
I am also super eager to see the movie version of this film. Part of me wants to skip it because I already have this whole novel in my head. I don’t need some director changing what I already envision in the book.
Despite that, I will see it anyway. I also think casting Daisy Edgar Jones as Kya was a smart move. I’m not sure if this will make sense, but Kya and Daisy have the same vibe and I’m here for it.
Interested in my thoughts on the movie? Check them out here.
Have you read this book or watched the movie version? I’d love to hear your thoughts! Grab a copy here if you haven’t read this book but want to.