Where the Crawdads Sing

Where the Crawdads Sing

Book - 2018
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. She's barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark. But Kya is not what they say. Abandoned at age ten, she has survived on her own in the marsh that she calls home. A born naturalist with just one day of school, she takes life lessons from the land, learning from the false signals of fireflies the real way of this world. But while she could have lived in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world--until the unthinkable happens."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, [2018]
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780735219090
Characteristics: 370 pages : map ; 24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Feb 24, 2020

Seems I'm swimming against the tide here. It's an interesting (but not very believable story) and I enjoyed the descriptions of the natural world and its inhabitants. I didn't think it terribly well written and there were several things that flew completely in the face of reason, or logic. I'll leave it at that.

Feb 24, 2020

Excellent bittersweet story! So glad I tried a new author. Have recommended the book to my friends. If you love a story of female empowerment you need to read this book!

Feb 22, 2020

This book is powerful. In every sense.

Kya Clark ,"The Marsh Girl". What a woman. Such a compelling character. I couldn't get enough of this book, it just kept on giving. Set in Carolina in the 1960's. Kya is referred to as The Marsh Girl, growing up in the Marsh for all of her life, a story of survival at it's finest. Kya faces prejudice daily. Even more so when Chase Andrews is found dead in the Marsh. Delia Owens writing is magnificent. The vivid imagery created is unbelievable. She touches on the themes of love, loss, loneliness, judgement, racism and social divide. ⠀

Since finishing I've been experiencing a book hangover like no other. I can't stop thinking about this book. I absolutely loved it.⠀

This will forever more be my go to recommendation

Feb 20, 2020

I read the description of this book and thought I wouldn't like it. A friend persuaded me to read it. Boy am I glad I did because I just loved it. This is a book about love and nature with a mystery wound around it. All three aspects of the book are excellent. I felt like I was reading "Educated," with easier reading. I would recommend this to anyone.

wendybird Feb 18, 2020

I'm always SO pleased when I get off my high "librarian" horse and read an item that has been hanging around the Bestseller Lists forever (in this case, nearly a year), and am impressed with the writing, the plot, and just everything about a book. Certainly this is the case with 2019 novel, As The Crawdads Sing. I have a soft spot for atmospheric tales set in the American South - as this one is. Abandoned as a young child in the lush but violent Northern Carolinian coastal marsh lands, Kya Clark lives a hard scrabble but rewarding existence. The prejudice and suspicion of the town folk towards her is dense as the surrounding bog. To all but 2 young men, "Marsh Girl" is nothing more than an odd, illiterate outsider.... until an unsolved murder case seems to point directly at her. There are a couple of audacious plot twists, but by then, readers are probably too captivated to care. Author Delia Owens has penned bestsellers before, but only as a fact-driven wildlife scientist; this is her first novel. This book will appeal to anyone who enjoys "novels of place", such as Kristin Hannah or even Harper Lee, and non fiction pieces such as, "Educated" and "Midnight in the garden of good and evil." Fingers crossed the movie rights go to someone who can capture all of this popular book's magic.

Feb 18, 2020

I did not find the characters believable in this book, especially the main character. I don't think this author has children because the notion that even the most resourceful of young children can survive on their own in a marsh with no medical care, money, schooling, or mentors is unrealistic. Also, I don't care how pretty she is, the most popular boys in town are not going to be fighting over some socially challenged, destitute wild girl with likely no personal hygiene or dental care. I just could not get into her story at all, and going from illiterate to accomplished with only a peer to tutor her? The endless descriptions of her natural surroundings are pretty if you are into that. I felt like the writer branched out from her non fiction nature writings by merging two of the easiest selling genres in fiction together: romance and murder mystery. I just don't think she did a very good job of it. All my friends loved this book though, so you probably will too.

Feb 16, 2020

Oh my gosh!! This book! I could not put it down and by the end had tears pouring down my cheeks. I did not want it to end. Thank you Delia Owens!

This book grabbed me right from the get go. It is about a ten year old girl who lives in the marsh land outside a small North Carolina town. She has been abandoned by her mother, brothers and sisters and abusive father. She learns to fend for herself and stays living in the shack she was born in. The story goes on about the few relationships she develops and how she is shunned by the towns people, being called "the marsh girl". Then a murder occurs and her world is turned upside down. I recommend this book!! I really enjoyed it and looked forward to when I could get back to it.

Feb 16, 2020

I wanted to like this one (I really did) but am completely bored with it so back to the library it goes. I got to about page 50. Maybe for a beach read but nothing more.

Feb 15, 2020

An exquisite read, near perfection. Full of emotions, good and bad, and of birds and other parts of nature. I was transported to the coastline of North Carolina and didn’t want to read. A story of resilience, of learning from nature, of love, and a good mystery to boot.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
Feb 04, 2020

ellysaurus thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

Oct 31, 2019

t3485tank thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Sep 19, 2019

AliceInWonderbread thinks this title is suitable for 17 years and over

Aug 07, 2019

nherrera61 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


Add a Quote
Jan 30, 2020

Tate’s father told him many times, “The definition of a real man is one who cries with shame, reads poetry with his heart, feels opera in his soul and does what’s necessary to defend a woman.”
Mabel to Kya:”Ya need some girlfriends hon, cause they’re forever. Without a vow, a clutch of women is the most tender, most tough place on earth”

Jun 24, 2019

“She knew the years of isolation had altered her behavior until she was different from others, but it wasn't her fault she'd been alone. Most of what she knew, she'd learned from the wild. Nature had nurtured, tutored, and protected her when no one else would.”

Jun 24, 2019

“I wasn't aware that words could hold so much. I didn't know a sentence could be so full.”

Jun 24, 2019

“Sometimes she heard night-sounds she didn’t know or jumped from lightning too close, but whenever she stumbled, it was the land who caught her. Until at last, at some unclaimed moment, the heart-pain seeped away like water into sand. Still there, but deep. Kya laid her hand upon the breathing, wet earth, and the marsh became her mother.”


Add a Summary
Dec 30, 2019

The novel’s main narrative opens in the marshland near the fictional town of Barkley Cove, North Carolina. Seven-year-old Catherine “Kya” Clark lives in a shack in the swamp with her mother, father, and siblings. However, one day, Kya’s mother leaves the shack forever in order to escape the physical abuse inflicted by Kya’s father. Kya’s siblings soon leave on their own as well, leaving only Kya and Pa. Pa spends increasingly more time away from the shack over the years, and when Kya is about ten years old, Pa leaves forever. Kya has become thoroughly self-sufficient by this time, living on the land and occasionally trading in town for necessary supplies.

When Kya is 14 years old, a kind local boy named Tate Walker begins to visit Kya, and he teaches her how to read. He is about four years older than Kya. He also gives Kya his old textbooks from school. When Kya is 15 years old, she and Tate fall in love, but Tate insists that they do not have sex until Kya is older. Tate soon leaves for college, and although he promises to love and remember Kya, Kya feels abandoned. When Kya is 19 years old, she suddenly becomes attracted to a young local man named Chase Andrews. Chase begins visiting her often. Chase says that he loves her and is eager to have sex with her. Kya refuses at first, but after about a year, she consents to sex.

Tate eventually returns to Barkley Cove in order to perform scientific research on the marshland. He visits Kya and asks for forgiveness, but she refuses to take him back. Tate sees that Kya has performed much of her own research on the marshland, and he urges Kya to submit it to publishers. Tate also warns Kya that Chase is a dishonest womanizer. One day, Kya sees in the newspaper that Chase has become engaged to someone else. She is heartbroken. Later, she submits her research to publishers, and when she is 22 years old, a book of her research is published under her name. Kya’s brother Jodie sees the book in a store and returns to the swamp to reconnect with Kya. Jodie encourages Kya to give Tate another chance.

Chase eventually visits Kya and says that he wants to continue his relationship with her, despite the fact that he is married to someone else. When Kya refuses him, Chase tries to rape her. She hits him and escapes. Kya realizes that because Chase is such a popular member of the town, and because she is an outcast for living in the swamp, she has no recourse. One day, in October of 1969, Chase’s body is found near the swamp. He appears to have fallen—or possibly have been pushed—out of a fire watchtower. The sheriff investigates and arrests Kya. However, the evidence is inconclusive and circumstantial, and Kya is acquitted. She and Tate declare their love for each other, and they live together in the swamp. Kya continues her career as a naturalist, and Tate continues his career as a researcher. Kya dies at age 64, after which Tate finds evidence that seems to prove that Kya killed Chase. He disposes of the evidence so that no one will ever find it.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at MORE

To Top