Delia Owens tackles the best and worst of human nature in her debut novel. Set on the coast of North Carolina in the 1950s and 1960s, the story begins as two young boys find the town’s former football star dead. Kya Clark, known as “the marsh girl,” becomes a suspect.

Clark, who was abandoned by everyone in her life as a child, is more than what the townspeople’s rumors claim her to be. Clark not only is observant and intelligent but also longs to be accepted and loved.

By the age of 10, the protagonist has accepted that she alone has to take care of herself. Never attending school full-time, Clark only has mother nature for her guardian. Because of her lack of economic status within the community, she is shunned and labeled as “wild.” However; she manages to get involved with two men and learns about love and heartache.

“Where the Crawdads Sing” is a story of survival. The novel serves as a cautionary tale to those who are quick to judge others. Clark as a character is raw, believable and authentic. The marsh serves as a playground and a classroom for a young girl, and its ecosystem symbolizes the ebb and flow of life.

This coming-of-age story is both inspiring and heartbreaking. Delia Owens has created a page turner through the end by painting a distinct picture of marsh life through her characters’ eyes using prose and poetry.


“Where the Crawdads Sing”

  • Author: Delia Owens
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons; Later Printing edition
  • Pages: 384 pages
  • Price: Hardcover, $26; Kindle $14.99