Where the Crawdads Sing was one of my most anticipated group reads and this story exceeded any expectations I had for it. I loved this story and it made for a fantastic discussion. Fifteen Traveling Friends joined in on this discussion and quite a few of us have added this one to our favorites list.
Where the Crawdads Sing is a compelling, insightful and original well-layered coming of age story that also digs deep into the environment surrounding this story. It is so stunning and vividly written not only in the descriptive atmosphere but also with the insightful way it is written.
We meet our main character Kya at a young age and learn how she becomes isolated from the people and world around her. This part of the story brought on a bit of discussion for us and some of us struggled a bit here with suspending some disbelief here. However, this is also where the magic of the story and the marsh comes alive.
In our discussion, we talked about how the marsh became so many different things to Kya allowing us to see some comparisons and symbolization between nature and human behavior. We became totally immersed in the vivid setting of the marsh and it was like the story was being told and shown to us by it. We felt like we were drawn into the mind of a character. We could feel how hauntingly isolating yet peaceful it was to Kya. We could see just how dangerous that was for Kya when the outside world becomes apart of Kya’s marsh. The writing here is so vivid and made this such a stunning story for some us, however, there were a couple sisters who found it dense and at times myself included became a bit weary of it.
We highly recommend this truly amazing story with such an unforgettable character.
Stunning, enchanting & emotive!
So before I start off with my review there is something that I must confess to. While reading this novel there was always this niggling annoyance in the forefront of my mind telling me that I wasn’t connecting with the third person narrative here. I am not exactly sure what it was for me but that really bothered me that I wasn’t able to give this story my whole heart. Regardless of not connecting with the third person narrative, I thought this story and the words written were absolutely beautiful though. And in the end after long discussions with my dear friend, Kris she helped me work out my feelings towards this book and come to a few realizations that were pivotal. I am so happy to say that I was able to get that warm fuzzy feeling that I was so desperately seeking from this book.
WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING by DELIA OWENS was an engrossing, moving, heartbreaking and charming coming of age, love story and murder mystery novel all wrapped up into one incredible and delightful story. I was immediately drawn into this quiet and powerful story that revolves around the survival and resilience of an unforgettable young girl named Kya, abandoned at the age of 10 and growing up alone in the marsh. Kya’s story consumed my thoughts and my heart totally while I was reading this novel. She had me laughing, smiling, crying, worried and rooting for her every step of the way.
DELIA OWENS delivers an intriguing, atmospheric, suspenseful and beautifully written read here that is so vividly descriptive and absolutely mesmerizing. The descriptions of the marsh and everything that it entails pertains so meaningfully to this story. Unlike Kya, I just wish that it didn’t take me as long to come to that realization of how meaningful the marsh was to her whole being and story.
This was an awesome group read with an absolutely wonderful discussion and with the help from Brenda and our Traveling Friends I was able to fully enjoy this novel! Thank you friends!
Heartbreakingly unforgettable. Deeply symbolic. Hauntingly atmospheric.
This is the story of Kya, a ‘marsh girl’ who grows up isolated from society. Abandoned by her mother at the tender age of six, Kya is left vulnerable and constantly awaiting her return. At the age of ten, Kya is deserted by the rest of her family, leaving her completely alone to fend for herself in the wild and unruly marsh. There are a few characters that enter Kya’s life, each having a direct impact on her development and views of the world. Each of the characters is memorable and very well developed.
Kya’s story is one that will stick with you – it is emotional, disturbing, shocking and touching. While I enjoyed this story, I did not love and adore this book as much
as most others have. The biggest thing that didn’t quite work for me was the pace of the novel – it dragged throughout. The marsh descriptions, though vivid and atmospheric, felt too much at times and I was lost in these descriptions rather than the story itself. With that being said, I feel it was fully intentional to have such overpowering descriptions and that is what many readers truly loved and connected with – it just didn’t work for me.
We received an advanced copy of this book from G.P. Putnam’s Sons through Edelweiss.
So many amazing reviews from our Traveling Sisters and Friends and I want to add them all and their full reviews, but that would make for a very long post for you all to read. So I have stuck with adding a bit from their reviews and recommend checking out their reviews on Goodreads. So on to our Traveling Sister’s reviews.
Kya’s journey spans years, the reader present from her childhood into maturity. I love this story’s ode to wilderness and Mother Earth with all her glorious wonder; her instinctual need to nurture and protect. I love each character’s flawed nature as well as those redeemed. I love the heart and soul that saturates every inch of this story, and more than anything, I LOVE that spectacularly bold ending!
To the reader who appreciates nature’s effortless beauty honored in fiction; to those who seek a love story every bit true as it is tender; to the one who needs a tantalizing murder/mystery to spice things up, and for those who tend to root for the underdog in hopes she’ll someday sparkle like the gem she is—this one’s for you.
From Debra’s review
This book had a little bit of everything that I love: a likable main character who pulls at your heartstrings, murder mystery, atmosphere, drama, coming of age, and romance. There are several characters who give and show kindness including, Tate, the cashier who gives back too much change and the couple who make sure Kya has what she needs. What is the saying? Those that have the least to give, give the most! There is a police investigation and courtroom drama and some twists and turns I did not see coming.
This book is beautifully written and contains poetry and vivid descriptions of the Marsh. I highly recommend this book! It’s thoughtful, evokes emotion, and transports the reader back in time to the Marsh. I loved every page.
From Christina’s review
This, at its heart, is a deeply sad but moving story about a misunderstood girl, about abandonment and loss. However, there are uplifting moments and characters that come into Kya’s life that shed light into her dreary and lonely world – through friendships with a shop owner named Jumpin’ and his wife Mabel, through a boy named Tate who teaches Kya not just how to read but about acceptance and friendship and joy. These two timelines slowly begin to converge upon one another and as it does the true gem of this story becomes apparent: nature and all it’s wonders.
From Rose’s review
While the stories are engrossing enough at face value, Owens was hinting at something much larger than a poor girl living in a swamp. This is a book about nature as the equalizer. People can hide behind their material possessions, but true character is revealed when all of that is stripped away.
In a way, nature is also the narrator of this novel. We get such detailed glimpses into the most intimate moments of Kya’s life – whether joyous or heartbreaking – to which no human was privy because she was always alone. The only entity that would’ve known Kya so well was the marsh. The cranes, the lagoons, and the mosquitoes carried her from childhood, through adolescence, and into adulthood. They raised her, they knew her, and they told her story.
From Marialyce’s review
It was masterful, exceptional, an outstanding tribute to the environment of North Carolina’s coastline, of small-town Southern living, of a people who lived, loved, and were products of their time.
In this novel, we meet so many characters that resonant with the songs of their upbringing, who fall to the lure of money, power, and the ways of what their insular world has decided. They harbor prejudice, animosity, and enmity for those who they consider below them.
Delia Owens, our author in her inaugural novel, makes you one with the story. She assembles a group of characters ranging from the Marsh Girl, Kya Clark, a girl of mystery, forced to live on her own when her siblings, mother and eventually her cruel and callous father leave her, to the wonderful Tate who becomes her friend, her mentor, and the man she will someday love. Alas, though Tate also leaves her as she becomes a dupe for the unscrupulous Chase. There are the loving characters of Jumpin and Mabel, who look out for Kya with a quiet heart, with their loving manner propelling the story forward and portraying the beauty of caring for others. Conversely, Ms Owens, presents with a troop of hardhearted and callous folks who populate the town and feel that Kya is dirty, contaminated, and squalid.
Cover: Eye-catching, beautiful, and an extremely fitting representation to the storyline.
Title: Fits the story so well and love how it plays so meaningfully into the story. I also really enjoyed the few lines in the book that referred to the title.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, lovely, eloquent, and engaging.
Plot: Entertaining, thought-provoking, captivating, steady-paced, held my attention and extremely enjoyable. Even though I had some reservations with the third person narrative it did not take away my enjoyment for the story.
Ending: Bittersweet, powerful, rewarding, and very satisfying.
Overall: An outstanding, emotional, memorable, and heartfelt read! Would highly recommend!
Have you read this one? Adding it to your TBR list? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!