Audiobook Review | Where the Crawdads Sing

Happy to be getting back into a good audiobook.


Where the Crawdads Sing
Delia Owens

How long can you protect your heart?

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. 

Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

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I will admit that this one took me a minute, at first I didn’t feel like I was going to get into the story but a good few of my friends had told me I would love it so I stuck with it and I’m very glad I did. This is a beautiful and immersive story about love, loss, and survival, and whilst it may have a bit of an unhurried pace, eventually, I was utterly captivated by the characters and the setting and couldn’t tear myself away.

It is kind of hard not to love Kya, she is the outsider, a resourceful girl who manages to survive even when the odds are against her. She is synonymous with the Marsh and honestly, the author has written this setting so that it has as much life as any of the characters, I felt so easily transported every time I came back to this story. There are few people in Kya’s world but each makes such a big difference in her life, of course, the two that make the most impact are Tate and Chase, and each of these relationships is heartbreaking in their own way. I don’t want to say too much else about the story because I really do think that it is best experienced through reading the book.

The book has an interesting structure, in the first half, it is a dual timeline showing us how Kya grew up and is often intersected with a pivotal event in 1969, in the second half of the book Kya’s timeline reaches 1969 and it becomes one narrative. This works so well because there is a bit of a mystery element to the story that is introduced slowly in the first half but it isn’t really the focus until the timeline merges into one, so it only becomes important when it is at the centre of Kya’s experience.

I loved the narration of this story Cassandra Campbell does a fantastic job of portraying the characters but also the atmosphere of the book, this is a story that lends itself beautifully to audio, I definitely felt more of a sense of place through hearing the voices of the characters.

Where the Crawdads Sing is a beautiful book and I’m very glad I listened to the glowing recommendations.

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