10 Best Literary Fiction Books Like Where The Crawdads Sing

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To all the book readers out there, I will review the book that will make so much sense after experiencing an isolated life in quarantine. Published in 2018, ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ by Delia Owens, a novel that will captivate you with its dramatic shift to a young adult from childhood and also thrill you with a murder mystery. The book still remains on the bestseller list for 124 consecutive weeks in 2021, after topping The New York Times Fiction Bestseller 2019 & 2020.

Here I also review some books like Where The Crawdads Sings that are either match with the storyline or written in the same genre.

If you like any of these book’s title, feel free to “Check The Price” and add to your personal collection… 😏😏

About Where the Crawdads Sing

The novel tells the remarkable story of ‘Catherine Danielle Clark aka Kya’. The life story of Kya is paralleled in two different timelines. The first timeline is from 1952, when six-year-old Kya is abandoned by her family in her home located in the Marsh of North Carolina. She then shows the resilience of character in surviving the wild lush of the marsh.

This phase exquisitely describes a coming of age story. Kya all by herself survives and thrives in her lonesome young age despite being looked down upon by the so-called civil society of ‘Barkley Cove’ (fictional coastal town) except ‘Jumpin’ and his wife ‘Mapel’ at the gasoline station. So, she is forced to drop out of school after having a humiliating first day.

Where the Crawdads Sing

Nevertheless, she learns to read and write with the help of ‘Tate’, a friend of her brother ‘Jodie’, with whom she develops a romantic relationship. But she has again left alone when Tate leaves for college. Kya, heartbroken, carries on her adventurous life in the marsh, collecting different seashells, rightfully earning the nickname “The Mars Girl”.

The second timeline is in 1969, where Kya is now a published writer and on her way to publish more of her findings. But she is prevented following a murder investigation of ‘Chase Andrews’, a famous local of ‘Barkley Cove’. The two timelines eventually intertwine, followed by an intense murder trial against Kya.

Delia Owners has shown a symbolic depiction in brushing away a mystery to the lush habitat where no one but wild creatures dwells.

Top 10 Literary Fiction Books Like Where The Crawdads Sing:

Here, I list some books similar to Where The Crawdads Sing, either written in the ‘Mystery’ genre or written by authors like Delia Owens…

1The Snow ChildEowyn Ivey
2My Absolute DarlingGabriel Tallent
3The Great AloneKristin Hannah
4EducatedTara Westover
5The Prince of TidesPat Conroy
6Swamplandia!Karen Russell
7RubyV.C. Andrews
8SycamoreBryn Chancellor
9Eleanor Oliphant is Completely FineGail Honeyman
10Before We Were YoursLisa Wingate

The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey

‘The Snow Child’ is similar to Delia Owen’s ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ in the aspect of wilderness and remoteness. ‘Faina’, like’ Kya’, is a wild child who rejuvenates the marriage of Jack and Mabel. How was Faina able to do that? Let me give you The Snow Child summary.

Living in the ‘Alaskan wilderness’, the couple ‘Jack’ and ‘Maple’ was leading a hard life as homesteaders. Their difficult livelihood and inability to conceive a child took a toll on their marriage. And so one day, they humor themselves creating a child out of snow.

The next day a mysterious yet magical event takes place as Mapel and Jack discover the snow child is gone and appears as a wild girl running around the trees. Like a fairytale, the snow child named ‘Faina’ completes their family. But will their life remain the same if the mystery behind the snow child comes to light?

My Absolute Darling, by Gabriel Tallent

Were you as fascinated as I was after learning about Kya’s survival skills?

If so, you should definitely read about Julia “Turtle” Alveston in the book ‘My Absolute Darling’ by Gabriel Tallent.

Julia Turtle, a fourteen-year-old girl, has to be proficient in survivalist skills. Her abusive sociopath father, ‘Martin’, makes Turtle skilled at firearms. Turtle is physically and mentally abused, but her Stockholm syndrome made her believe her father. Turtle’s teacher becomes suspicious about Turtle, but she denies owing to Martin’s death threats. Turtle’s traumatic life dramatically comes to an end after the arrival of ‘Cayenne’, a child found by Martin at a gas station.

The Great Alone, by Kristin Hannah

Keeping up with the resemblance to Delia Owen’s Where the Crawdads Sing, ‘The Great Alone’ also brings you a resilient portrayal of human’s fight for survival in the wilderness.

Kya’s coming of age is similar to that of Leni’s in The Great Alone, and Leni fights for survival in Alaska’s wilderness. She moved to the remote corner of the world for her father, Ernt Allbright’s sudden decision. Cora, Leni’s mother, spontaneously agrees with Ernt, and their family begins a new life there.

When the days were brighter, the family was having the time of their lives in a strong and generous community.

As the darkness grows in the north, their life becomes challenging. Alas, Cora and Leni are left to face the difficult days ahead in the wildness alone. To read The Great Alone similar books, check these books.

Educated, by Tara Westover

The protagonist from the book ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’, Kya is an inspiration for people struggling for their rightful education. Kya’s lifelong struggle in the wild does not prevent her from getting educated and establishing herself as a published writer.

You can say ‘Tara Westover’ is a real-life version of Kya. Her memoir, ‘Educated’ describes how the author overcame her isolated life in Idaho’s mountains and explored the world to receive an education. This is basically the Educated book’s summary; you need to read this book to learn about the details of the author’s struggle and accomplishments in this radical world.

The Prince of Tides, by Pat Conroy

If you liked ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’, you will surely relate to ‘The Prince of Tides’ by Pat Conroy. We read about Kya’s dysfunctional family in Where the Crawdads Sing book, which resulted from abusive and uncaring parents.

Similarly, ‘The Prince of Tides’ is a story of trauma and abuse the ‘Wingo family’ go through, was inflicted by an abusive father and uncaring mother.

‘Tom Wingo’ is the protagonist, and the story revolves around him. But the story gets deeper slowly and explores the trauma of his past life that still haunts him and his suicidal twin ‘Savannah’.

Like ‘Kya’, Savannah, too, succeeds in life by becoming a poet. Tom is married and the father of three daughters. Tom recently has been fired from his job as a teacher and football coach.

His married life takes a toll when he supports his twin sister Savannah during her suicidal delusions. The family’s dark secrets come to light as Tom opens up to ‘Dr. Susan Lowenstein’, Savannah’s psychiatrist.

Swamplandia! By Karen Russell

‘Swamplandia!’ by Karen Russell is a must-read book for you if you are looking for books like Where the Crawdads Sing. Again in a landscape of wildlife in the Islands, off the southwest coast of Florida, the ‘Bigtree family’ lives in Swamplandia.

The three teenagers of the Bigtree family, ‘Kiwi’, ‘Osceola’, and ‘Ava’, are raised with the family’s unique heritage under their father, ‘the Chief’. The story of these three resilient teenagers is narrated throughout the book. Their survival skills and achievements are the portrayals of strong wild characters.

Ruby, by V.C. Andrews

‘Books like Where the Crawdads Sing’ are quite rare, but I have found another book that resembles Kya’s tragic orphaned experience. Ruby Laundry’s story is another triumphant story of overcoming poverty and social enigma.

The book ‘Ruby’ describes Ruby’s simple life where her guardian ‘Grandmère Catherine’ is constant support for her. Her hope of a beautiful future with handsome Paul Tate is crushed by his parents, who look down on poor Ruby.

Dark secrets come to light concerning her father, and a stunned Ruby is devastated by Grandmère’s death. Now she is to explore vast New Orleans and go through all kinds of cruelty and madness.

Sycamore, by Bryn Chancellor

‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ genre is altogether an exploration of human nature, a mystery, and a coming-of-age novel. It is quite difficult to find it in one book but ‘Sycamore’ is definitely the most similar to this genre.

From the award-winning author ‘Bryn Chancellor’, ‘Sycamore’ is an atmospheric and vivid representation of a small town in Arizona, which the novel is named after. The inhabitants explore all kinds of human nature: love, grief, or loneliness, when a newcomer to Sycamore finds a human set in the wall of a dry desert gulf.

A haunting unsolved mystery comes to light concerning ‘Jess Winters’. The people of the town start to recollect the troubled history and mysterious disappearance of the adolescent Jess.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman

‘Where The Crawdads Sing’ basically tells the story of a social misfit called Kya and Eleanor is quite alike her is another socially awkward recluse but refers to herself as being “completely fine”.

‘Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine’ is a novel of self-realization and a fuller understanding of life. To give you The Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine’s summary, I shall be breaking down the life of ‘Eleanor’, a 29-year old finance clerk working in a graphic design company in ‘Glasgow’.

Her reclusive nature earned her names like “Wacko Jacko” and “Harry Potter”. Eleanor feels infatuation with a local band singer. Her traumatic past caught up with her as she deals with loneliness and her transformation is the major beauty of the novel.

Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate

‘Before We Were Yours’ by Lisa Wingate resembles Where the Crawdads Sing in quite a few aspects. The novel unfolds the notorious history of a scandalous Memphis-based adoption organization where the director kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families.

The story began in 1939 when the Foss family’s children were dragged to Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage by strangers when their parents left them home alone. ‘Rill’, the eldest of the five siblings, strives to protect her siblings from the orphanage’s director’s cruelty.

The parallelism like Where the Crawdads Sing is also seen when wealthy ‘Avery’ in the present day discovers her family secrets that reconnects her with the scandals of the past. The shocking expose of the fiction’s adoption system, ‘Before We Were Yours’, is based on a true story. if you liked where the crawdads sing, Before We Were Yours would be a great choice for you…

Bonus book of Interest

The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead

You have enjoyed the chase for Kya in ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’, now I am here with another stimulating chase with The Underground Railroad.

Born into slavery, ‘Cora’ suffered the cruelty of vicious men at the Randall Plantation. Hearing about the infamous Underground Railroad from Ceasar, Cora plans to escape. Though her escape with Ceasar turned out successful, slave trackers are always on the hunt. The chase gets more critical when Cora accidentally kills a slave catcher during a fight, and notorious ‘Arnold Ridgway’ is on their trail.

The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

‘The Language of Flowers’ similarly describes the biology of flowers and symbolizes it with Victoria’s emotions. ‘Victoria’, raised in the foster care system, is socially distant and can communicate only through flowers. Her life takes a turn when a stranger gets her to recollect her painful past, and she is to risk everything for a chance of happiness.

A Girl of The Limberlost, by Gene Stratton-Porter

Like ‘Kya’ of ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’, ‘Elnora’ is a strong female protagonist of the book ‘A Girl of Limberlost’, in a swamp of Indiana, Elnora has a deep love for the wetland’s natural beauty. But she has to endure the harassment of her mother and suffer the scorn of her peers to pursue her ambition.

The author, Gene Stratton-Porter, beautifully portrays the swamp’s fading nature and the remarkable life of an ambitious girl in the early 20th century.

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance, by Ruth Emmie Lang

Orphaned and raised by the grace of nature sparked Kya’s resilience, such another resilient character is portrayed in ‘Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstances’.

‘Weylin’ Grey is just a plain weird boy to some but loved by the people who knew him. He wouldn’t stay in anyone’s life for long but amaze them with a story; the story speaks of a boy raised by wolves and provided all essentials by the nature he inhabits. His story never changes but deep inside, Weylin wishes to change his own life story.

If you read any similar literary fiction books Like Where The Crawdads Sing, then feel free to comment below. We would love to know from you.

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