Tuesday, June 16, 2020

The Best Paige In The Book Review: Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

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Where The Crawdads Sing was the first book I read after finishing my last law school final EVER! After spending a week writing out exam essays and over-analyzing answers for multiple choice questions, I was so ready to curl up with a good book. I had seen so many people talk about how much they loved this book, so I was excited to get into it. While I think my expectations were set a bit high from all of the hype, I did enjoy reading this book.

Catherine Danielle Clark ("Kya") lives in her family's shack in the marshes of Barkley Cove, a small town along the North Carolina coast. In the early 1950's, when Kya is only 6 years old, her mother abandons the family, never to be seen again. Gradually, all of Kya's siblings abandon the shack too, leaving Kya with her abusive and alcoholic father. Kya's father teaches her to fish, and the two seem to get along, but after a few years he leaves too. Alone, Kya learns to fend for herself and finds solace in the beauty of the nature she grew up around. She becomes known as the "marsh girl" to the people in town who see her on occasion. The residents of Barkley Cove are not shy about their prejudices against Kya, causing her to avoid people as much as possible. However, as Kya grows up, she starts to long for human connection. Two boys from town take an interest in her untamed beauty, but Kya learns that love isn't ever simple. Flash forward to 1969- Chase Andrews is found dead. Fondly remembered by the residents of Barkley Cove as the star quarterback and every girl's dream guy in his youth, the town is in a frenzy to find out who killed Chase. Naturally, everyone wants to point fingers at the mysterious marsh girl. The simplicity of nature and the flaws in humanity are contrasted as the search for Chase's murderer endures. 

The writing in this book was really beautiful. Owens describes nature is such an ethereal and breathtaking way that the reader can picture exactly what the marsh and its surroundings are like. The murder investigation timeline also keeps readers on the edge on their seats trying to find out how it will end. The storylines between Kya growing up and the murder investigation are intertwined to highlight how the person we were when we grew up never quite leaves us. Themes about prejudice and bias are reflected in Kya's childhood and her adulthood as the storyline develops. 

Overall, I enjoyed this book. The first 2/3 of it were a bit slow, and while the scenery was beautifully described, it did seem to drag the storyline along. There were also some plot points that I didn't think were very believable. For a while I was confused how this book had gotten such rave reviews. Once the story picked up, however, I couldn't put it down. The law student in me loved the murder investigation, and I found the legal end of things to be pretty realistic. There was also a major twist at the end that I didn't see coming. Once the book picked up, I loved reading it to the end.

Rating: ★★★★
Favorite Quotes:
  • “Don’t go thinking poetry’s just for sissies. There’s mushy love poems, for sure, but there’s also funny ones, lots about nature, war even. Whole point of it—they make ya feel something.”
  • "Why should the injured, the still bleeding, bear the onus of forgiveness?"
  • "Let’s face it, a lot of times love doesn’t work out. Yet even when it fails, it connects you to others and, in the end, that is all you have, the connections."
  • "A lesser male needs to shout to be noticed."
  • “That’s what nobody understands about me.” She raised her voice, “I never hated people. They hated me. They laughed at me. They left me. They harassed me. They attacked me. Well, it’s true; I learned to live without them. Without you. Without Ma! Or anybody!”
  • "it was enough to be part of this natural sequence as sure as the tides. She was bonded to her planet and its life in a way few people are. Rooted solid in this earth. Born of this mother."

I would definitely recommend this book. The writing is beautiful and the story combines coming-of-age with a page-turning murder mystery. If you haven't already read this wildly popular book, you can buy it from Amazon here. Let me know what you think!

Make today the best page yet!

(All images and text reprinted with permission from Penguin Random House LLC. Where The Crawdads Sing was published by G.P. Putnam's Sons in 2018)


  1. I have just started reading this books after hearing so many good things about it! You are right about the nature being described beautifully, that's the first thing I noticed about the writing!


    1. She's a great writer for sure! And the plot really takes off after you get into it!

  2. I've seen this book a few times now, I really need to check it out!

    Lauren | https://www.laurenyloves.co.uk/