Comments (138)Add a Comment
Delia Owen's debut fiction novel is a beautiful piece that challenges readers to look beyond the labels that we assign others in order to see the individual person. Gripping from start to finish, Owen spins multiple timelines together seamlessly to record a devastating incident and what led to the event.
I enjoyed this book, particularly the descriptions of the marsh, young Kya, and her illustrations. I'd have rated the book even higher, were it not for various things that seemed inexplicable related to the NC setting, Chase's wife, his demise, etc. For better or worse, it seems like it should be made into a movie. I liked the prose, especially in the first part of the book, so am interesting in reading another title by this author.
I was left disappointed with this book. It just didn't ring true to me. The setting is a fictional town on the NC coast, which I have no problem with, but the different characters kept going to Asheville (!?) to get stuff. That makes no sense at all. It read to me like someone who has spent a lot of time in marshes along the Southeast coast, but, as a native North Carolinian, I did not feel like the author really got North Carolina specifically. It bugged me enough to go look up her bio. I saw that she is from Georgia and now lives in Idaho. The setting felt more like the Georgia coast to me. The bit about Asheville was just superfluous and could have been subbed with any number of other cities. I think this book would have worked better if she had set it along the Georgia coast, but I was willing to overlook the little missteps like that and some of the dialogue, but then the rushed last part of the book and the ending left a sour taste in my mouth. I did like the beginning of the book better and really liked the idea of a "Marsh Girl", but it just didn't hang together the way I wanted it to. I would give this book an "okay", but definitely don't get all the love for it. There are better Southern and North Carolinian books out there.
For a book that has some similarities to this novel I highly recommend "Refuge" by Dot Jackson, who was a native North Carolinian who wrote for the Charlotte Observer for years. It is absolutely spot-on with dialect and sense of place. CHPL does have it. I read it ten years ago and it still hangs with me.
And it is in no way as good as anything Barbara Kingsolver has ever written in my estimation. Kingsolver is always spot on with facts and dialect and dialogue. Owens fell short.
I'm just not sure why this has been so popular. Some parts were lovely, and the author did a nice job evoking the atmosphere of the Outer Banks, the time and place. The beginning of the novel was the best, getting to know the main character, Kya, and getting a feel for her world. And there is some intrigue, as we're taken back and forth from her childhood story to a current murder investigation.
But I found too much of the plot, and the dialogue, just too unbelievable, implausible. I was intrigued enough to keep reading through the somewhat tedious YA romance and the last half, but mostly in the hopes that the story would redeem itself.
But no, implausible. Right to the end. Ugh. Maybe if there wouldn't have been such hype, if I had gone in with lower expectations, I would have been more forgiving and liked it better??
This book lives up to the hype and blends all the genres. If you love vivid descriptions of nature, murder mysteries, and romance, you'll love "Where the Crawdads Sing."
Loved it so much. Not much else to say. Thank you to all who insisted I had to read it!
I couldn't put this book down! I read this book in two days! This gave me a new perspective on women in literature. We don't always have to sit there and wait for the next man - we can do it all by ourselves.
I enjoyed the theme around isolation and being different - it really shined a light on the current place in time these characters were in. The author did an amazing job in showcasing the knowledge and beauty behind biology and things that may look dirty like swamps or crazy birds are truly amazing. There's beauty in life!
Hello, we will be on vacation through November 20 so request that you put my request on Where the Crawdads Sing on a delayed hold until we return. Thank you!
Carol E. Byrne
I love this book so much! Couldn't put it down and recommend it to all my reader friends.
I could not put this book down, I absolutely love this book and have nothing bad to say about it!
Highly recommend it. I started the book and hadn't heard anything about it so wasn't sure what to expect...it's now my favorite!
just finished this book and am not sure why it has been this long on best sellers list?
seemed somewhat unrealistic about a very young girl taking care of herself and
becoming a top book writer??? the murder part was not that thrilling only
two persons would have been the murder? it is easy to read but was somewhat
repeative seemed very much a fiction book. would maybe give it three stars just
because light fast read if just looking for something fast to read.
One by one Kya's family leaves and never comes back. Abandoned and alone, Kya lives in the marsh of Barkley Cove, North Carolina. The birds, the water and sand are her only companions. One thoughtful man, his wife, and a boy who loves the marshes almost as much as Kya are her only connections to town. As she grows up Kya and Chase, a boy from town, begin noticing each other. After he's found dead in the swamp, the town blames Kya, the Marsh Girl.
Owens blends a nature study, coming of age, love story and a murder-mystery to create a unique character study of loneliness in the natural world. The writing is lyrical and lush. This one lives up to the hype.
The author paints a wonderful story. You can imagine where she lives and how she survives. The mystery keeps you guessing throughout the book. Wonderfully believable characters. I cried towards the end of the book.
Beautifully written. Hard to get into . . . but worth the patience to stay the course. Like Carson McCullers and WilliamFaulkner, Delia Owens weaves a story of the South with characters with whom one finds common ground and empathy.
The descriptive use of the natural environment has been lacking in fiction. Delia Owens nails the integration of the feelings and instincts that nature brings to our world. Love how she takes a very dysfunctional existence and shows it's many outcomes.
I didn't like this book. I didn't finish reading it. I would not recommend this book to anyone. Not my cup of tea.
I SO LOVED this book! I was right there with Kya from the get go! What a well written first fiction novel-so descriptive. One of the best reads we have had in our book club & a great discussion. Kudos Delia Owens👏👏!
This was such a wonderful and heart wrenching read! Marsh Girl is going to be one of those characters that sticks with me for awhile!
Maybe read this article before reading the book:
Every book club's favorite book of 2019 is the debut novel by Delia Owens, an elderly white woman who worked in Africa and now lives in Idaho. I'm not sure why she thought she could write a book, much less one about a murder set in Louisiana in the 60s and 70s. Here's a sentence to give you a sample of her style: "Tutored by millions of minutes alone, Kya thought she knew lonely." I did not like this book, its swampy atmosphere was redolent of far better writers like James Lee Burke, while its clunky murder plot would make John Grisham blush. I bet they'll make a movie. I'd cast Kristen Stewart as Kya and Morgan Freeman as the judge.
"Way out wonder, where the crawdads sing." Note: crawdads do not actually sing.