REVIEW: ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ is a phenomenal story for any reader


Graphic Katherine Wu

Assistant A&E editor Maggie Haven writes that “Where the Crawdads Sing” is a beautiful and complex story which can be appreciated by all readers.

Maggie Haven, Assistant A&E Editor

“Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens is a masterpiece of a novel. Published in 2018, it hits a sweet spot for any reader. This book interweaves aspects of mystery, history and romance, and creates a beautiful and complex story.

“Where the Crawdads Sing” follows the story of a young girl named Kya, abandoned by her family at the age of six and forced to survive on her own. As she grows older, she realizes that loneliness would kill her before starvation, and seeks for a light in the dark.With the emotional and financial help of a few townspeople, Kya grows older and even begins to learn more about herself and the world around her. 

An important aspect of this book is the time jump separated by chapters. While Kya’s story begins in 1952, another story is also taking place in 1969, following the murder mystery of the young quarterback Chase Andrews. 

As Kya’s story grows closer to Chase’s, readers see certain connections in the timelines and characters, which creates a thrilling suspense and makes the book almost impossible to put down. Not only the plot, but lovable characters such as Tate, about five years Kya’s senior, and townspeople Jumpin’ and Mabel, give the book a much needed lighthearted addition. 

In some novels, plots can be so complex that they are hard to follow, or just too simple that it makes the story boring. “Where the Crawdads Sing is a happy medium between the two. The plot is just complex and interesting enough to keep you intrigued, but it also isn’t difficult to follow along with. Within the book, certain scenes are brought into great detail and vivid imagery, while some are left a little more vague. What’s so great about this is that Owens does a fantastic job at choosing those scenes wisely and spreading them out.

The characters themselves could be considered the most prominent factor of the novel’s popularity. With a mysterious and unique main character, thoughts and solo scenes were never too plain. Side characters, whether lovable or some of the most hated, added so much complexity and rich interaction to the storyline, and largely contributed to Kya’s character development. Each character had distinct traits that made them stand out and be unique from each other.

“Where the Crawdads Sing” is a beautiful, unique and intriguing story, brought together with complex characters and engaging relationships between them. This novel is a rare gem; a story that can be appreciated by any reader and lovers of any genre. And for movie enthusiasts, a film adaptation will be coming out in July, starring actress Daisy Edgar-Jones and directed by Olivia Newman.