‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ is a must read for all

Best seller hits every mark


Fair use from Penguin Random House.

Kate Schneider

Delia Owens’ bestseller novel, “Where the Crawdads Sing,” is both a love story and murder mystery in two different timelines that come together by the end. After she is abandoned by her family and ostracized by the people of the nearby town, Catherine Danielle Clark (nicknamed “Kya“) is forced to grow up alone in the swamp with nature as her only company. One of the timelines follows her over the years as she explores and studies the swamp. The other one takes place when Kya is on trial for murder.

“Where the Crawdads Sing” is almost impossible to explain without spoiling some aspect or another because the novel is filled with twists and turns. The strongest part is Kya’s character development. Despite only attending school for a single day, she becomes very knowledgeable about the swamp and is taught to read and write by her childhood friend and love interest, Tate. Owens’ choice to show instead of tell that Kya has become smarter by changing the way she speaks from lots of slang to complete words and thoughts, strengthens the complexity of Kya’s character.

Throughout the trial and her time in jail, Kya’s flashbacks to the events leading up to the murder are very successful in keeping the readers guessing. A piece of evidence will come up that makes it seem like there’s no way she didn’t kill them, but then Kya’s memories will show a completely different series of events. It shows how good a murder mystery book can be, when you don’t know who the murderer is until the very end.

But aside from the mystery of “Where the Crawdads Sing,” there is also a strong feminist theme. Kya does have a couple love interests throughout the book, but she is still fiercely independent and wants whatever she achieves to be because of her own talent, something many young women can relate to. It was a very smart decision to focus the story almost entirely on Kya; most of the other characters’ development revolved around her. And although this left some characters feeling a little flat, they aren’t missed because of Kya’s character development and depth.

Overall, “Where the Crawdads Sing” definitely deserves its place on the bestsellers list and it should stay popular for a long time to come. Owens’ writing has lots of depth, yet is easy to understand, making this a book anyone who likes to read or wants to start would love.

“Where the Crawdads Sing”: ★★★★★