Where the Crawdads Sing

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens Book Summary

NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE—The #1 New York Times bestselling worldwide sensation with more than 15 million copies sold, hailed by The New York Times Book Review as “a painfully beautiful first novel that is at once a murder mystery, a coming-of-age narrative and a celebration of nature.”

For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life—until the unthinkable happens.

Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens Book Reviews

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I would recommend this book to any reader.

Honestly best book I’ve ever read

The best. Can’t wait for the movie.

I read this book in 2 days ! This isn’t normally something I’d choose to read but I really enjoyed it! Very good emotional story! Would definitely recommend.

Achingly beautiful page turner

Amazing! Brought me to tears.

It’s slow in the begging, I had a hard time staying engaged. But I kept going to see what all the hype was about and it was worth it. Great read!

Amazing book from beginning to end! Filled with mystery, suspense, and romance!

The author keeps you riveted in the marsh with such beautiful detailed descriptions-of the significance of every single organism, of animals and the human characters as portrayed through the eyes of this gifted author.

The book bought to life the magnificent of Gods world. The sadness that children go through in life because of their parent mishap and selfishness. This allowed the world to envision struggles can be the beginning of success. What I liked most of the book was the bravery and innocence portrayed by Kya.

Amazing book could slightly be better

This must be the most overrated book I’ve ever read.

Suspenseful and Romantic

You become totally engrossed in the life of Kya and it’s hard to put this book down!

This one surprised me a little, which is why I gave it 4/5 stars. Before the ending, I was considering 3-3.5, but I have to give the author more credit than that because I feel that it’s difficult to actually surprise a reader or include a good twist without us guessing it too soon. It reminded me a lot of “To Kill a Mockingbird”, which may have been purposeful. Many things about the townspeople, and especially the trial, were reminiscent of that book in my opinion. I would recommend it. There were many good things. I found myself reading it every free second I got once I reached the meat of the book.

I read this after I saw the movie. A riveting tale hard to put down.

Absolutely absorbs you.

I loved this book. One of my favorite reads this year.

This book was simply amazing! I feel in love with the story. I started listening to the book and then I downloaded the book in my phone… I went to target got me a physical copy and finished it right away. Its so good, everything about this book, the story, the characters were just perfect. This is a perfect novel. The ending was not what I expected and that made me love it even more after I was done reading! Totally recommend it 🙌🏼

Loved all of the twists and turns of this book that have you guessing until the very last page

This book is incredible. I couldn’t put it down. I enjoyed all of it.

Great read all the way through!

One of the most beautifully written books I’ve read. Captivating and intriguing. I was on Team Kya from the beginning. I already miss her.

Loved it!! As someone who loves nature, I found this book to be really beautiful.

I fell in love with Kya and Tate, Jumpin and Mabel. The writing was so beautifully done that I felt like I was there in the marsh and on the beach. I felt Kya’s heart. Can’t wait to read more from this terrific author.

Ugh I want to buy this every time I see it such a good book such a good romance/mystery it rips your heart out stomps on it repeatedly

Loved it!!! It was spellbinding and I didn’t want to put it down!!!

Great Book! Loved it.

Delia Owens does a magnificent job encapsulating the climate of the marsh and while I have bias, the locations listed in the novel had me even more entrenched and loving each chapter! Much better than the movie, albeit that is not saying the movie is not worth your time. I had seen this in New York Times Best Seller List for years and I finally came around to purchasing it. I wish I had done so sooner.

A waste of time. This is truly bad writing. An implausible story full of tropes and caricatures vs real characters. I do not understand what people see in this book. Please don’t waste your time and money on trash.

Wonderful book. Could not put it down!!

There was a twist I wasn’t expecting but still liked it in the end. Well written

I saw a surprisingly good film adaptation of this story before reading the book. The book, as well, was well written.

I read the whole book in just a couple days and really enjoyed it. My mom had recommended it to me so thanks mom! ❤️

Among the best books I have ever had the pleasure of reading. Laughed, cried, and enjoyed deep thoughts of life. I highly recommend!!

Great read.

This fictional book intimately reveals an artist/naturalist who is at one with her divinity and is devastated by her loneliness. Her connection to nature is told in such beautiful detail and her character was so believable and accessible on an emotional level that I cried for half the book and still absolutely loved every minute of it.

Simply incredible!

Just wow, what a beautiful book, well written with a plot twist. I loved it!!

I enjoyed this so much. Easy read because of amazing writing

Everything about Kya is such triumph. I was happy the book didn’t end abruptly. Many times I thought I knew what was happening. I read it at every chance. Now to see the movie.

No words.

My heart aches for the little girl , I followed along ready for more . I highly suggest it !

one minute you’re smiling, the other you’re crying— and then the other you’re screaming at someone, whoever it may be. Kya, Tate, Jumpin’ and even Chase nows hold such special places in my heart.

Read it.

I couldn’t put down this book!

One of the best books I’ve ever read .

So glad I finally read this book. I hope the movie can do it justice.

One of the most thought provoking, emotional books I’ve read in a long time. Being from the south and near the swamp, I can emphasize with the main character and feel like I’m a part of her. Highly recommend - make sure you have tissues with you.

Excellently written book that captivated me through the last word!

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I read this book in two days…unforgettable characters and I learned some amazing things about nature. This story will stick with you.

Thank you Delia for putting this story out into the world.

Fantastic read

I in all honesty could not put this book down. The best book I have read in years. A must read. You won’t be sorry

Beautifully written a pleasure to read.

This book captured me in the first few pages. Absolutely riveting and spell bound every page thereafter!! Until the very last page....did not see this ending coming! Beautiful, thank you!

One of the best books I’ve ever read

Such an incredibly told tale … beautifully written and so compelling I couldn’t put it down. I’m sad I finished this book. It will be difficult to get Kya out of my mind. I think I’ll keep her with me for awhile. I loved this book … I devoured it.

Extremely well written with the push and pull of the power of words magically sewn into each paragraph. The best magnetic pull to a book that I have had in quite some time….. I did not want this book to end……thank you Delia Owens. Carol Reichert Southampton Beach town, Canada


So good!

Brilliant book. Truly enjoyed it

One of the best, if not the BEST story I have ever read. Your senses will be heightened as you see, smell, feel, hear and learn of the inhabitance of the coastal waters of North Carolina in 1969, from the perspective of a female raised lonely and alone from the tender age of 6. The author’s poetically woven words will captivate you. You will empathize with the one girl no one showed empathy for, other than Jumpin’, his wife Mabel, brother Jodie, and true love, Tate. Through love and betrayal The Marsh Girl goes from being the dirty monster everyone rejected to legend and loved by the locals of Barkley Cove. Nothing is ever too far away to be able to change and this book teaches that change and love sometimes come at a price but love and forgiveness and acceptance in the end are all that matter.

Well written. Fell in love with so many of the characters. Was sad when it was done.

This was the first book I read in years come highly recommended from my family and man it did not disappoint.

Wonderful story, the land and the people described beautifully ... couldn’t put it down

This was an excellent read. This is one of those books you feel you’re actually in as you read it. Wholeheartedly recommend it.

I love the way this book was written. It felt like I was there. All the scents and colours came to life as if the main character was alive. A great read, I could not put it down!

An incredible story about survival that, at times sways towards the incredulous. The pity, pride and love we feel for this little rag-a-muffin turns into reproachful worrying as she grows up. When Kya becomes a woman, the story takes a turn straight into a harlequin romance novel and then straight into an old fashioned whodunnit. It is, first and foremost a tale about prejudice, but not in the traditional sense of racial inequality. It is about abuse brought on by personal torment. It is about finding solace and beauty when you have nothing else. It is about finding your soul and keeping your sanity, in the written word.

Such a gripping story and keeps you reading all day long! Should be made into a movie:)

I LOVED this book! At first I felt like it wouldn’t be as good as some of the reviews said but by the time you finish it, the entire book is pulled together and it is so well written. I loved the characters and the storyline.

Really good book

Loved this book.

One of the best books I’ve read in a really long time.

I have never been a reader but I decided I wanted to become one as I do really enjoy reading! I follow this girl on Instagram that claimed this book was one of her now favourites out of tons of books she’s already read so I decided this would be my first book to start my reading journey! I was not disappointed this book is absolutely amazing and only took me 6 days to read I could not put it down! I love Kya’s character and could not imagine having to live the life she did and be nearly as happy and successful as she became! This book is a love story, true crime, and nature loving book all in one and could not have been written any better I would recommend this book to anyone who has every though of reading it! 10/10 🥰

This book is amazing. I 100% recommended.

Captivating tale of a relationship with the earth and man told thru the eyes of an author with science creds. and a gift for writing. The descriptive passages and imagery soar and take you into the heart of the marshlands with characters that are alive and rich .

The author does an incredible job of painting the most gorgeous picture of the marsh lands and sea. This book made me gasp, cry, smile. Amazing.

Loved this book! A must read for everyone, reaches every emotion!

I don’t know anyone who didn’t love this book. Perfect. Can’t wait to read it again in a year or so.

I can’t say enough great things about this book. Unreal imagery and characterization. Simply amazing on all fronts.

A beautifully written, imaginative story that’s never boring.

powerful amazing book. Look forward to more

I totally fell in love with this book, with the characters, and storyline! I could not put it down. You know it’s a great book when you think of the characters when you’re not even reading the book. I have already recommended this book to several people. Would make a great movie!!

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Amazing book! Would recommend 100 times over.

Spectacular read! Fell in love with the main character, and could've been right there with her the way this was written. Hoping for this author to write more books

Starts slowly. However last two-thirds are excellent.

Ms Owens writes in an easy style that exposes her spirit. The story is more intriguing than it is exciting. It speaks to life in the purest. I completed the read in three days and now feel like I have lost a good friend.

What a great book! Was a little slow to start but it picked up pace and by the end I could not put it down! The story is enthralling and descriptive and had a fantastic ending.

Magic but the last few pages were thrown together

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Take an incredible journey through the challenges and triumphs one can face.

Loved this book! Read it faster than any other book! Kept me engaged & needing to know more about Kya, her story & what happened. Twists & turns until the end & written with a continuous build-up.

One of the best books I’ve ever read.

I enjoyed this, and related greatly to Kya. A story of strength, love found and lost, and through, of survival!

This book, wow. Just wow. I’ve never been so touched by a book before. The appreciation of the female journey and the raw power of nature sparks such intense feelings. This book was a whirlwind. It had me laughing, crying, nervous and joyful. This author truly makes you feel. This book creates empathy in you. This book albeit a one of a kind story, is relatable. The abandonment issues, the pain of losing loved ones, the hardships of women dealing with unwanted advances and so much more. I felt for Kya the entire read. I felt her sadness and pain, which is hard to do in a book. This read can truly help you appreciate the loneliness of a human and help to realize how much we need each other. 100% recommend reading.

Fabulous book! I watched the movie first then read the book. Both were amazing!

Absolutely worth the read!!! Definitely will be seeing the movie now.

Like I do, I read the book before seeing the movie. So glad I did. Great writer, great story, great ending. If you’re reading this, buy the book. It won’t disappoint.

Very very very touching. Amazing how much moving, fascinating images and details in a story with only one main character. Loved Kya; loved her story about coping with her natural environment.

While the author certainly has a knack for crafting elegant prose when it comes to nature, she fails to accomplish much else with this novel. The premise of the story is interesting enough, but the book itself ultimately feels like a cheep replica of much of today’s pop lit. The tropes are predictable, the characters come off as one dimensional, and the research and historical representation is abysmal. Not only are there some glaring issues with the whole feral swamp girl situation, but the handling and representation of black characters in this book is uncomfortable and quite frankly offensive.


I’ve read several hindered, maybe a thousand, books. This is no doubt my favorite.

Really enjoyed it. It was a page turner and couldn’t put it down. The only reason I didn’t give 5 stars is I thought the main part of the story could have started sooner. I still highly recommend!

A little slow to start but couldn’t put it down after about 10 chapters.

One of the best I have read!

Wow. Amazing book 💙

Amazing book !! Best book I have read in a very long time !

I only have one complaint: when she first met Tate, the book describes how she “had to have that boy” and things of that sort. That’s confusing and unrealistic because she was around 6/7 years old. No 6 year old is going to view boys like that. Other than that one instance, this book was so descriptive and was one that I couldn’t put down. It only took me a couple days to read! Definitely a must read!!

Thickening plot with each turn of the page! Beautifully written book connecting nature, heart break, romance, & mystery all in 1. I’m not sure I’ve ever finished a book in two sittings before, till now.

Captivating and poignant. Powerful and tender.

Beautifully written! Total page turned. I couldn’t put it down.

The way science, nature and poetry are woven into the twists and turns of this artfully crafted plot was a joy to experience.

Gripping and beautifully written

Wonderful book full of stories and characters that will touch your soul!

Awesome book!!!

What a wonderfully written tale of sadness, loss, and loneliness beautifully transformed into peace, understanding, and acceptance.

This exceeded beyond my expectations and my expectations were low to say the least. Typically I can foresee the ending in books or movies way before but the way this book is carefully written and completely hides the ending is unbelievable. Amazing book.

Never in my life has a hard sob immediately came to a stop, and that happened at the end of this book. The astonishment just took over and I couldn’t feel one single feeling, rather multiple all at once. As for the rest of the book, the flow was just so beautiful, keeping me so intrigued and finding it hard to put down.

I don’t read very many books but this one. I finished in three days. I couldn’t stop.

Very much enjoyed all the details of nature! Intriguing mystery with surprise ending.

So beautifully written. Ms. Owens made you feel as if you were in the marsh. I did not want it to end, when I finished the last word, tears were running down my cheeks.

Couldn’t put it down

Phenomenal! I couldn’t stop reading it until I knew the ending.

I couldn’t stop reading! Great description to really help visualize the places and characters. I’ll probably read again several times.

The entire book kept my attention. I couldn’t put it down. What an amazing read!

Beautifully written, soulful and I know this will be a classic.

This is not my typical read but I’m glad I chose to read this beautifully written story.

Our book club read this a few years ago and almost everyone loved it. We were excited to see the movie, though always skeptical that it can live up to the book. There were differences, but it was done exceptionally well and we were pleased.

Wonderful from the start. Heartbreaking, that is why I could not put it down. Waiting for the next triumph.

Excellent book! Kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time!

Awesome book! I loved it! Kya is truly an inspiration!! This book is a must read for everyone! I truly felt like I was in the marsh watching this entire book unfold.

This story will take you back to your time growing up. So easy to relate to the characters, especially if you’re from the south. Beautiful love story and murder mystery combined! I encourage mothers of young teenage girls to read it at the same time and then go see the movie together.

I’m an avid reader and this is one of the best books I’ve read. It’s great to know true talent still exists.

Wonderful book…..wanted to read the book before seeing the movie. Best story I have read in years.

This is the only word I can describe this book. Such a page turner and an amazing book. Must read.

Wow! Beautiful book.

Very well written, thoughtful, and thought-provoking.

Liked this story.

liked this book a lot!! felt like the trial could have been skipped completely. overall, good book though.

Beautiful, wonderfully written!!

Delia Owens - Where the Crawdads Sing Comments

About Delia Owens Wiki

Delia Owens (born ca. 1949) is an American author and zoologist. Her debut novel Where the Crawdads Sing topped The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers of 2019 and The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers of 2020 for 32 non-consecutive weeks and was on the list for 135 weeks in total. She has also written the memoirs Cry of the Kalahari, The Eye of the Elephant, and Secrets of the Savanna, with her then-husband, Mark, about their time studying animals in Africa. Biography Owens grew up in Thomasville, in south Georgia in the 1950s. She and her then-husband, Mark Owens, were students in biology at the University of Georgia. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in Animal Behavior from the University of California, Davis.The couple moved to Africa in 1974, traveling before making camp in the Kalahari Desert, Botswana. Cry of the Kalahari was written about the couple's experience. After they campaigned against the local cattle indus...

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