Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (Book Review)

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Page Count
: 370

CW: loss of a loved one, (parental) abandonment, grief, sexual assault, death, domestic violence, child neglect

When I first heard about this book, I immediately knew it was going to be a good fit for me! All my friends loved it, the premise sounded so good and I was ready to have my feelings crushed again. And yet, I didn’t actually pick up the book until the final month of the year … sometimes I’m just scared of the things that I know are good for me.

Where the Crawdads Sing is told in multiple timelines that slowly converge. For one, you have Kya’s entire childhood, teen years and adult life and then there’s the crucial year of 1969, where a certain character was found dead and suspicions arise. I have to say I really wasn’t as invested in the investigation until the last chapters, because Kya’s life was just so much more interesting. I wanted to adopt her in like … chapter 2? She’s the perfect example of resilience in the face of all the terrible things life can throw at you.
I’ve read The Lonely City this year, so I actually have a bit of background knowledge on solitude and loneliness, I also live by myself in a city during what can only be considered “non-normal” circumstances, but I don’t know how Kya survived for so long. The smallest kindness can make such a difference and it was heartbreaking to often see her, understandably, closed off and alienated from the world.

Owens, who previously co-wrote several non-fiction books, has done some beautiful work with her first novel. The descriptions of the marsh and nature in general are so very atmospheric and enticing. I very much appreciated the incorporation of poetry and lyrics, that neither felt pretentious nor out of place. Overall, there was a clear authentic root to the story, which just made it all the more gripping. The only thing I struggled with, and I realize that is a very me-thing, was the heavy Southern slang. It made sense and also changed over time (at least in part), but as a non-native speaker, it was a bit of a rough start for me. In general, I’d say this is definitely more for people who enjoy slow-paced, character driven stories!

Lastly, I cannot help but mention the ending. I did not find it surprising, like many others, but still thought it was extremely fitting for the tale we were told. I like when things come together in a way that just makes sense.

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! After reading it, I definitely understand the hype!

Now, having talked about the book, I want to say that I’m really excited to talk about the upcoming movie adaptation of Where the Crawdads Sing! Reese Witherspoon is known for having some great picks for her book club, but when she enjoys something, she also tries to be involved in the adaptation. It comes as little surprise that she is therefore one of the producers of the film.

The casting I’ve seen so far is spot on! (Below a picture of some of the mains) The release date next year got pushed back for what you can imagine to be obvious reasons and is now scheduled for July 22, 2022. I do think this is a movie I’d rather enjoy in the comfort of my own home, just because of some of the heaviness, but still, looking forward to it. I cannot wait to see a trailer and experience Daisy perform her magic with adapting accents so foreign to her own!

From left to right: Harris Dickinson as Chase, Daisy Edgar-Jones as Kya, Reese Witherspoon (producer) and Taylor John Smith as Tate

Did you read Where the Crawdads Sing? Do you want to? Will you watch the movie? Let’s chat!

16 thoughts on “Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (Book Review)

  1. I’m not sure if I’ll find the time to read this one, but I’ll definitely give the movie a go! Harris Dickinson was actually one of the main actors in The Darkest Minds so I’m excited to see a familiar face on screen again! Great review 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh this is such a fantastic review, Kat, you’re making me so curious about this book, especially the atmospheric descriptions and… I’m intrigued now, aha. I’ll have to think about it a little more before picking it up because of the trigger warnings (thank you for including them!). So glad you enjoyed this one so much! I hope the movie will live up to your expectations πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Marie! I think it’s a lovely book and in most scenes not too graphic or explicit. It is really heartbreaking and slow though, so i guess you’d have to be in the right mood.
      Thanks for checking out my review!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with your take one this novel. I read it recently also and while I liked the story overall, the premise required accepting the idea of a child growing up alone, never going to school, yet becoming a best selling author of nature books. But I guess anything is possible in fiction writing.


    • I think there are rare cases where things like that happen. I read about this kid who grew up without ever going to school and being surrounded by animals and they eventually became a very well respected animal expert. But yeah, it was tough to imagine sometimes.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I just don’t know. I had such a connection with the book that I could not imagine the producers could replicate the imagery I experienced. I think it might be an entertaining film, but I have a hard time thinking that it could spike the aha moments and draw out tears. But what a great book!!!! πŸ™‚ Annie


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