Books: The Cheapest Vacation You Can Buy

{September 1, 2019}   {Audible Review} Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, Narrated by Cassandra Campbell

Synopsis: 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.


This novel absolutely wrapped me up and blew me away. It’s a very poignant tale of a young woman attempting to survive in an inhospitable world, running first from the abuse of her father, and then from that of the townsfolk, finding solace only in the silence of nature. Virtually alone in the world from the young age of six, Kya’s story is one of sorrow that will run the reader through a whole gamut of emotions, and yet, it is also so very empowering. Whereas I would probably lay down and die if abandoned by the world, Kya flourishes into a beautiful young woman, expertly blending into the Marsh around her and learning to not only survive, but thrive.

Although this novel was released in August of 2018, I only recently heard of it through an AP Literature page I follow on Facebook (I’ve been away from the book world and writing reviews for quite some time). Many, many teachers have fallen in love with Where the Crawdads Sing, and the fact than many are also teaching it in AP Literature this year roused my curiosity. And since I just joined my neighborhood book club, I chose this as our upcoming November read. However, I just couldn’t wait that long to read it, and due to the nature of my new commute to work, I decided to purchase it through audible and start immediately, and I am quite glad I did!

While I’ll admit I wasn’t pulled in by the story immediately, I found that, as the murder mystery of the story began to intertwine with that of Kya’s fight for survival, I became hooked. There are many layers to this story, creating true-to-life characters and many aspects for analysis, and because of this, I can see why so many teachers have chosen to teach this novel in AP Lit this year. There is so much to this beautiful novel that makes it a spectacular read!

The novel begins with Kya at six years old, watching her mother walk down the lane away from the shack, as Kya slowly begins to recount how everyone leaves her. We’re introduced to the Marsh, her brother Jodie, and Kya’s plights to avoid her abusive father, find food, feed herself, and stay away from the truancy officers who come to take her to school. And as Kya grows, so does her ability to care for herself; the love stories within this novel add many layers to Kya that show how human she really is, despite what the townsfolk say. While much of Kya’s life is a struggle, this story is not bogged down by sadness by any means, and the way that Owens structures her novel allows the reader to seamlessly experience the highs and lows, as well as the mystery surrounding the death of Chase Andrews, calling into question, “did Kya really do it?”

Living in the Marsh her whole life has made Kya different, but the events taking place are believable and majestically told, especially with the Southern voice of Cassandra Campbell. If you get the change to listen via audible, I highly suggest it, though traditional reading of this story will leave you in love with it just as well. Five stars.

I purchased this novel from Audible.

Did you know that you can try a FREE TRIAL of Audible for 30 days? Try it today!

Amazon Kindle | Audible | Barnes and Noble | BAM


et cetera
%d bloggers like this: