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REVIEW | "Where the Crawdads Sing"


There is something inviting about the natural world that lends itself to be the center of character transcendence. As seen in numerous literary works like Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” and Dante’s “Inferno,” a protagonist enters the mysterious yet intriguing forest seeking refuge, adventure, or answers.

“Where the Crawdads Sing” is Delia Owens’s ode to her kin to the wild and all the wonders it holds.

“Where the Crawdads Sing” is Delia Owens’s ode to her kin to the wild and all the wonders it holds. A coming-of-age tale set in the coast marsh, namely “The Marsh,” of North Carolina in the 1960s, this novel follows Kya Clark abandoned as a girl by her mother and siblings, as she navigates in isolation her young adulthood and all its pains and joys. Delia Owens, wild-life scientist turned novelist, has dedicated a lot of her professional life researching African animals. Her discovery of the importance of female grouping in social mammals inspired the narrative of “Where the Crawdads Sing,” which explores the behavioral impact on a young woman who is forced to live much of her young life alone.”
Owen’s expertise in natural life shows through beautifully in her natural writing. Next to Kya, the Marsh is the most prominent character of this novel, as Kya often escapes to the safety of mist and greens of her most loyal companion. Paired with whimsical descriptions of the very much alive Marsh and small coastal town, the harrowing and painful emotion evoked from Owen’s carefully crafted dialogues highlight the most heartbreaking events Kya experiences with abandonment, isolation, assault, love and self-discovery.

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