Penny For Our Thoughts

Traveling Sisters Book Reviews. Join us on our adventures through the books we read

Where the Crawdads Sing was one of my most anticipated group reads and this story exceeded any expectations I had for it.  I loved this story and it made for a fantastic discussion. Fifteen Traveling Friends joined in on this discussion and quite a few of us have added this one to our favorites list.

Where the Crawdads Sing is a compelling, insightful and original well-layered coming of age story that also digs deep into the environment surrounding this story.  It is so stunning and vividly written not only in the descriptive atmosphere but also with the insightful way it is written. 

We meet our main character Kya at a young age and learn how she becomes isolated from the people and world around her.   This part of the story brought on a bit of discussion for us and some of us struggled a bit here with suspending some disbelief here. However, this is also where the magic of the story and the marsh comes alive.

In our discussion, we talked about how the marsh became so many different things to Kya allowing us to see some comparisons and symbolization between nature and human behavior.   We became totally immersed in the vivid setting of the marsh and it was like the story was being told and shown to us by it. We felt like we were drawn into the mind of a character. We could feel how hauntingly isolating yet peaceful it was to Kya. We could see just how dangerous that was for Kya when the outside world becomes apart of Kya’s marsh.  The writing here is so vivid and made this such a stunning story for some us, however, there were a couple sisters who found it dense and at times myself included became a bit weary of it.

We highly recommend this truly amazing story with such an unforgettable character.

Web_L339-3_brunette_brown eyesNorma’s Review

Stunning, enchanting & emotive!

So before I start off with my review there is something that I must confess to. While reading this novel there was always this niggling annoyance in the forefront of my mind telling me that I wasn’t connecting with the third person narrative here. I am not exactly sure what it was for me but that really bothered me that I wasn’t able to give this story my whole heart. Regardless of not connecting with the third person narrative, I thought this story and the words written were absolutely beautiful though. And in the end after long discussions with my dear friend, Kris she helped me work out my feelings towards this book and come to a few realizations that were pivotal. I am so happy to say that I was able to get that warm fuzzy feeling that I was so desperately seeking from this book.

WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING by DELIA OWENS was an engrossing, moving, heartbreaking and charming coming of age, love story and murder mystery novel all wrapped up into one incredible and delightful story. I was immediately drawn into this quiet and powerful story that revolves around the survival and resilience of an unforgettable young girl named Kya, abandoned at the age of 10 and growing up alone in the marsh. Kya’s story consumed my thoughts and my heart totally while I was reading this novel. She had me laughing, smiling, crying, worried and rooting for her every step of the way.

DELIA OWENS delivers an intriguing, atmospheric, suspenseful and beautifully written read here that is so vividly descriptive and absolutely mesmerizing. The descriptions of the marsh and everything that it entails pertains so meaningfully to this story. Unlike Kya, I just wish that it didn’t take me as long to come to that realization of how meaningful the marsh was to her whole being and story.

This was an awesome group read with an absolutely wonderful discussion and with the help from Brenda and our Traveling Friends I was able to fully enjoy this novel! Thank you friends!

Web_L443-2_blonde_blue-eyesLindsay’s review

Heartbreakingly unforgettable. Deeply symbolic. Hauntingly atmospheric.

This is the story of Kya, a ‘marsh girl’ who grows up isolated from society. Abandoned by her mother at the tender age of six, Kya is left vulnerable and constantly awaiting her return.  At the age of ten, Kya is deserted by the rest of her family, leaving her completely alone to fend for herself in the wild and unruly marsh. There are a few characters that enter Kya’s life, each having a direct impact on her development and views of the world. Each of the characters is memorable and very well developed.

Kya’s story is one that will stick with you – it is emotional, disturbing, shocking and touching. While I enjoyed this story,  I did not love and adore this book as much
as most others have. The biggest thing that didn’t quite work for me was the pace of the novel – it dragged throughout. The marsh descriptions, though vivid and atmospheric, felt too much at times and I was lost in these descriptions rather than the story itself. With that being said, I feel it was fully intentional to have such overpowering descriptions and that is what many readers truly loved and connected with – it just didn’t work for me.

We received an advanced copy of this book from G.P. Putnam’s Sons through Edelweiss.


Web_L109-6So many amazing reviews from our Traveling Sisters and Friends and I want to add them all and their full reviews, but that would make for a very long post for you all to read.  So I have stuck with adding a bit from their reviews and recommend checking out their reviews on Goodreads.  So on to our Traveling Sister’s reviews.

Web_L423-2_blonde_brown-eyesKristin’s review

Kya’s journey spans years, the reader present from her childhood into maturity. I love this story’s ode to wilderness and Mother Earth with all her glorious wonder; her instinctual need to nurture and protect. I love each character’s flawed nature as well as those redeemed. I love the heart and soul that saturates every inch of this story, and more than anything, I LOVE that spectacularly bold ending!

To the reader who appreciates nature’s effortless beauty honored in fiction; to those who seek a love story every bit true as it is tender; to the one who needs a tantalizing murder/mystery to spice things up, and for those who tend to root for the underdog in hopes she’ll someday sparkle like the gem she is—this one’s for you.

Web_L301-3_brunette_green eyesFrom Debra’s review

This book had a little bit of everything that I love: a likable main character who pulls at your heartstrings, murder mystery, atmosphere, drama, coming of age, and romance. There are several characters who give and show kindness including, Tate, the cashier who gives back too much change and the couple who make sure Kya has what she needs. What is the saying? Those that have the least to give, give the most! There is a police investigation and courtroom drama and some twists and turns I did not see coming.

This book is beautifully written and contains poetry and vivid descriptions of the Marsh. I highly recommend this book! It’s thoughtful, evokes emotion, and transports the reader back in time to the Marsh. I loved every page.

img_6644From Christina’s review

This, at its heart, is a deeply sad but moving story about a misunderstood girl, about abandonment and loss. However, there are uplifting moments and characters that come into Kya’s life that shed light into her dreary and lonely world – through friendships with a shop owner named Jumpin’ and his wife Mabel, through a boy named Tate who teaches Kya not just how to read but about acceptance and friendship and joy. These two timelines slowly begin to converge upon one another and as it does the true gem of this story becomes apparent: nature and all it’s wonders.

Web_LF05-5_blonde_blue-eyesFrom Rose’s review

While the stories are engrossing enough at face value, Owens was hinting at something much larger than a poor girl living in a swamp. This is a book about nature as the equalizer. People can hide behind their material possessions, but true character is revealed when all of that is stripped away.

In a way, nature is also the narrator of this novel. We get such detailed glimpses into the most intimate moments of Kya’s life – whether joyous or heartbreaking – to which no human was privy because she was always alone. The only entity that would’ve known Kya so well was the marsh. The cranes, the lagoons, and the mosquitoes carried her from childhood, through adolescence, and into adulthood. They raised her, they knew her, and they told her story.

FC-2 VerityFrom Marialyce’s review

It was masterful, exceptional, an outstanding tribute to the environment of North Carolina’s coastline, of small-town Southern living, of a people who lived, loved, and were products of their time.

In this novel, we meet so many characters that resonant with the songs of their upbringing, who fall to the lure of money, power, and the ways of what their insular world has decided. They harbor prejudice, animosity, and enmity for those who they consider below them.

Delia Owens, our author in her inaugural novel, makes you one with the story. She assembles a group of characters ranging from the Marsh Girl, Kya Clark, a girl of mystery, forced to live on her own when her siblings, mother and eventually her cruel and callous father leave her, to the wonderful Tate who becomes her friend, her mentor, and the man she will someday love. Alas, though Tate also leaves her as she becomes a dupe for the unscrupulous Chase. There are the loving characters of Jumpin and Mabel, who look out for Kya with a quiet heart, with their loving manner propelling the story forward and portraying the beauty of caring for others. Conversely, Ms Owens, presents with a troop of hardhearted and callous folks who populate the town and feel that Kya is dirty, contaminated, and squalid.

Web_L117-5Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Eye-catching, beautiful, and an extremely fitting representation to the storyline.
Title: Fits the story so well and love how it plays so meaningfully into the story. I also really enjoyed the few lines in the book that referred to the title.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, lovely, eloquent, and engaging.
Plot: Entertaining, thought-provoking, captivating, steady-paced, held my attention and extremely enjoyable. Even though I had some reservations with the third person narrative it did not take away my enjoyment for the story.
Ending: Bittersweet, powerful, rewarding, and very satisfying.
Overall: An outstanding, emotional, memorable, and heartfelt read! Would highly recommend!


Have you read this one? Adding it to your TBR list? Drop us a comment!  We would love to hear from you!

22 thoughts on “Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

  1. Love reading the different reviews! I really liked this one, too. I especially enjoyed Kya’s connection to nature. Atmospheric is a great word to describe this one. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much and I am so happy that you liked this one too! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This is one where I hated missing the group read so much! I’m dying to get to it but my backlog is staggering. Excellent reviews, all!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Jonetta! I dislike it too when I miss some great group reads but sometimes it just cannot be helped, right? 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    2. L Lostinacoulee says:

      Thanks Jonetta!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Norrie says:

    Hmm, great reviews! You guys kinda made me want to read this 😀 I’ve seen this book around but was always like “nah, it’s not my type”. But I’m quite intrigued now.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. L Lostinacoulee says:

      Thanks Norrie! We would love to know your thoughts if you do end up reading it. 😊💜

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Stephanie says:

    Great review, sisters! This is one of the best books that I’ve read this year but I still haven’t written my review! I need to though…it’s sitting in a pile of reviews to be written when I get time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. B Lostinacoulee says:

      Thank you, Stephanie! I have a list of books I have read too that I haven’t reviewed. I keep saying I will and then other keep getting added to that list. Lol

      This one as a little harder to write too because it’s such an amazing one I found it hard to find the right words to express just how.

      I am so glad to see it was one of the best books of the year for you. Amazing that it was for so many of us.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Stephanie says:

        You’re welcome! I don’t review every book I read since then it just feels like work since I do so much writing for work anyway, lol but I have a few review copies that I’ve let fall through the cracks when I was on blog hiatus in August, this was one. I’ll eventually get to it but more and more books get added on like you say! I just have to catch up and stop pressing that request button on NetGalley, LOL.

        Yes, I bet it was! I did start a review on it…it’s on my drafts on WP, but I couldn’t think of what to say. It’s just so complex. I don’t know that I can do it justice.

        Yes, so many people loved this and have said it was a fave of the year…it’s really a special book! ❤

        Liked by 2 people

      2. B Lostinacoulee says:

        I was so proud of myself today I wrote two very short reviews for a couple of books on NG. However my ratio only went up 1%. I am still taking it as a victory. My goal is to do two a day till I catch up and not request any.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. L Lostinacoulee says:

        Good luck with that goal of not requesting Brenda! 😆


  5. Mackenzie says:

    Love these reviews!!! Sounds like a really incredible book 😊💕


    1. B Lostinacoulee says:

      Thank you, Mackenzie! It sure was for so many of us!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Great, great reviews! I think it might have been Carol over at Bookaria who said this was one of her favorite reads of 2018? And I haven’t read one bad word about it. I might just have to set aside some of my galley reading when my library hold comes in!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much, Myndi! It was well-loved from quite a few of us. I hope that you love it too!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. L Lostinacoulee says:

      Yes Myndi! A lot of readers are calling this their favourite 2018 read! Hope you love it!! 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Tiffany says:

    Interesting reviews on this one! Sounds like she is an artist with her words. I will definitely read this one. I appreciate the connection with nature. This book seems to leave a lot to talk about which leaves me even more excited to get into it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. B Lostinacoulee says:

      I think you will love this one T! There are no door you won’t want to go in with this one! It’s one you must read!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. carhicks says:

    This is another one that I am on the waiting list at the library for. When Norma said, engrossing, moving, heartbreaking and charming coming of age, love story and murder mystery novel all wrapped up into one incredible and delightful story, I knew that I made the right choice to request this from the library. With all of you reading and loving this book, it is nice to read all your reviews and see that you all got a bit of a different feel from this story.


  9. I have an ARC of this for review. Your post has made me look forward to it even more. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

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