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WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING, published in 2018, is a women’s fiction novel by Delia Owens. It is her debut novel.

WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING spent 25 weeks at #1 on the NYT Bestseller List in 2019.

Never run in town or people’ll think you stole something.


For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.


Where the Crawdads Sing is used as an example in the following posts. Check them out!

Coming Soon!


I wasn’t really a fan of this book. The idea of the story is super interesting but the book itself struggled to hold my interest for two main reasons.

First, a lot of book justdraaaaaggggsssss on and on and on. So many pages where nothing is happening: no plot development, no real character development, just things that could easily be skipped.

Second, the writing style didn’t work for me. Here’s a sampling of paragraphs:

Kya remembered, those many years ago, Ma warning her older sisters about young men who overrevved their rusted-out pickups or drove jalopies around with radios blaring. “Unworthy boys make a lot of noise,” Ma had said.

As answer, she turned and ran to the shack, and Tate followed her. Inside the porch, he stopped short. Her collections had grown from a child’s hobby to a natural history museum of the marsh. He lifted a scallop shell, labeled with a watercolor of the beach where it was found, plus insets showing the creature eating smaller creatures of the sea. For each specimen—hundreds, maybe thousands of them—it was the same. He had seen some of them before, as a boy, but now as a doctoral candidate in zoology, he saw them as a scientist.

But in her twenty-second year, more than a year after Chase and Pearl announced their engagement, she walked the sandy lane, blistering with heat, to the mailbox every day and looked inside. Finally one morning, she found a bulky manila envelope and slid the contents—an advance copy of The Sea Shells of the Eastern Seaboard, by Catherine Danielle Clark—into her hands. She breathed in, no one to show it to.

I randomly chose 3 pages and a paragraph on each without reading them. I’ve bolded the use of parenthetical commas. Parenthetical commas are used to give additional information that doesn’t change the sentence if they’re removed. I found the use of these in this novel to be extreme and I was only a couple of chapters in when it really started to irritate me.

But that’s just my opinion. What do others think?

This review of Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is for the small percentage of readers who didn’t like it – to let you know you’re not alone.

Literature & Leisure

…it’s a beautifully written book and. . . it takes a long time for anything to really happen (especially in Kya’s storyline).

Everyday Reading

It is a haunting, heartbreaking novel that you will not be able to forget in a hurry.

Travelling Book Junkie
a typewriter

Writing Practice

Check out these writing exercises and prompts inspired by WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING.

Prompt: The Opening Paragraph(s)

This is the opening paragraph of the novel. Ignore everything you know about the story and use it as a writing prompt.

Your Task: Using as much detail as possible, write another 300+ words.

Ma 1952

The morning burned so August-hot, the marsh’s moist breath hung the oaks and pines with fog. The palmetto patches stood unusually quiet except for the low, slow flap of the heron’s wings lifting from the lagoon. And then, Kya, only six at the time, heard the screen door slap. Standing on the stool, she stopped scrubbing grits from the pot and lowered it into the basin of worn-out suds. No sounds now but her own breathing. Who had left the shack? Not Ma. She never let the door slam.

Exercise: Mix & Match

This exercise is all about being creative. We’re going to merge a character or scene from WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING with a character or scene from LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD.

Your Task: Add a character from one story into the scene of your choice in the other story.

Need Help?

  • The mother in RED didn’t send RED to grandmothers but left her there. (rewrite the opening scene of CRAWDADS replacing Kya with Red).
a woman pulling on someones leg


GenreWomen’s Fiction
First Published
August 14, 2018
Print Length
(according to amazon)
379 pages
File Size
(according to amazon)
3,829 KB
PublisherG.P. Putnam’s Sons
Goodreads Rating
(As of Feb 2019)
Goodreads Rating (4.49/5) for WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING
Amazon Rating
(As of Feb 2019)
Amazon Rating (4.8/5) for WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING
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Pin This: Book Review & Analysis of WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING

Did you read WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING? Tell me what you think in the comments below.

If so, what did you think? If not, will you?

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PS. share your exercises in the comments below. I’d love to see them.


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