Book of the Week: “Where the Crawdads Sing”


Courtesy of Washington Post

“Where the Crawdads Sing” is a critically-acclaimed New York Times Best Seller.

Caleigh Beaton, Staff Writer

For what began as a book not expected to sell more than 28,000 copies, Delia Owens’ “Where the Crawdads Sing” has made a profound impact on the fiction writing world, holding its position on the New York Times Best Sellers list for 124 weeks. It explores the themes of loneliness, education and acceptance, making it appear as a young adult novel, but in fact captivating a wider demographic. 

The book follows Kya Clark, “the marsh girl,” all the way from age six to her young adult life, spanning the years of 1952-1970. Isolated from society, Kya grows up in a shack in the marshland of North Carolina. Abandoned by every member of her family, Kya must find a way to navigate life as a young woman. 

“Where the Crawdads Sing” connects everyday life to the natural world in a profound way. With a lack of communication and no one to care for her, nature becomes Kya’s whole world and ultimately all she knows. The marsh is Kya’s savior, companion and educator. Her surrounding wildlife teaches her how to hide, hunt for food, make money to support herself and how to act in her relationships, drawing deep comparisons between the natural world and human life. However, even with her intense connection to nature, Kya finds herself longing for human connection and love, and ultimately finds it with two boys in the town that shame her.

The book begins with the murder of football star and town favorite, Chase Andrews. Switching back and forth between Kya’s childhood and the current murder when she is in her mid twenties, the reader gets to know Kya all the while knowing she is accused of the murder. 

After stealing the hearts of many avid readers, “Where the Crawdads Sing” is now being made into a movie starring Daisy Edgar Jones and is currently in pre-production under Hello Sunshine, the company run by Reese Witherspoon. 

A coming of age story, as well as a troubling mystery, this book shows the lasting effects of isolation and what it takes to survive in a society that rejects you but a wildlife that needs you. This book is a must read for nature lovers, mystery seekers and those that find themselves searching for love and hope in the hardest of times.