Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

I missed this book when it was first published in 2018 and became a US bestseller after Reese Weatherspoon had picked it up for her book club buying film adaptation rights. Usually, when that happens, the overwhelmingly positive opinions reach me and make my expectations so high, that they are very unlikely to be met. And so when I started reading this acclaimed novel I struggled to see what everyone else did. It is possible that most people from the start were captivated by the vivid and appealing descriptions of nature and I worry that I didn’t fully appreciate Owen’s poetic writing. What I was more driven to, and it only picked up my interest after the first third of the book, was the mystery element that was used so skillfully there was no way I could put it down after that. 

Where the Crawdads Sing (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️) is a life story of Kya, a girl who after being abandoned by her family at the age of six, learns how to survive in the isolation of the marsh in North Carolina. 

It is the debut novel by Delia Owens, an American wildlife scientist and you can clearly see the love for nature that oozes from every page of this story. The marsh that Kya grows up in, is her home, her family, and her school. There are a love story and a criminal investigation, which captivated me most but I understand others could also appreciate Owen’s words and rhythm that reflect the nature of the marsh being brought forth as the character of the story. After months in isolation during the covid pandemic, the closeness to the natural world is felt twofold. 

Books the Crawdads made me think about, include Educated (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️), We Have Always Lived in the Castle (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️), and The Green Fried Tomatoes (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️), which a friend has reminded me of and I’m planning to go back to soon. So I’m not sure how much of my liking this novel is about it being a well-known territory. Nevertheless, a few weeks after reading it I started to have doubts about the quality of the writing and the parts of the plot that seem far-fetched and rather unbelievable. I decided to think about it more like a modern fairy tale rather than an entirely plausible and potentially true story. It didn’t change the fact that I really enjoyed reading it and I can’t wait to watch the adaptation. I could see Zendaya in Kya’s role but it has just been announced that Daisy Edgar-Jones, known for Normal People, was cast in the role.