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Eager to read more captivating books like Delia Owen’s novel Where the Crawdads Sing? Then you will love these spellbinding reads that share the same themes as Where the Crawdads Sing
If you’re a fan of books that are coming-of-age stories or novels that explore the themes of survival, loneliness, resilience, and human connection you will be excited to find these books evoke a similar feeling as Where the Crawdads Sing.
Set in coastal North Carolina, Where the Crawdads Sing is the story of Kya Clark.
In my opinion, I have never read a book like Where the Crawdads Sing before. Owen’s story drew me in from the very first page.
Where the Crawdads Sing has many layers to the story. It’s a coming-of-age novel but also a part mystery. It’s part family drama but also a romance. Nature plays a very key role in this lyrical prose as well. The book became a literary sensation and was on most of the bestseller lists and also popular books in book clubs.
If you’ve loved reading Kya’s story and looking for compelling books like Where the Crawdads Sing, you’ll love this post.
Get started with 26 books with characters and themes that are similar to those in Where the Crawdads Sing.
Similar books to read for the fans of Delia Owen’s Where the Crawdads Sing
From mesmerizing stories of survival in the wilderness to stories of romance and mystery, we’ve got you covered.
The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
Thirteen-year-old Leni’s life is about to change when her family is set out on a journey to the wilderness of Alaska.
Her father, a Vietnam veteran, is back from the war as a new person looking for a new life. So when he is finally able to inherit some land in Alaska, he decides to leave everything behind for a fresh start. However, once in Alaska, their life was nothing as they had imagined. Young Leni feels isolated and lonely.
The family begins to suffer even more when winter approaches. Leni and her mother struggle to survive Ernt’s fragile mental state.
You can find a lot of similarities between Kristin Hannah’s The Great Alone and Delia Owens’ Where the Crawdads Sing as both novels include themes of isolation, trauma, and resilience.
In fact, I think most of Kristin Hannah’s novels deal with similar themes-> Check full list of Kristin Hannah books to find out
Where the Line Bleeds by Jesmyn Ward
Jesmyn Ward’s first novel Where the Line Bleeds takes place over a life-changing summer and follows the twins Joshua and Christophe from the Gulf Coast of Mississippi.
They have never had a comfortable home life and even after finishing high school both struggle to make ends meet. While Joshua eventually finds a legitimate career, Christophe turns into a drug dealer.
The book explores the difficulties of trying to succeed in life and the challenges of navigating family and community dynamics.
Where the Line Bleeds is a work of fiction with a comparable mood to Where the Crawdads Sing. Like Kya, these twin brothers experience the profound feeling of isolation and neglect.
An immersive prose that will draw you into the world of vibrant and realistic settings.
Educated by Tara Westover
Educated introduces Tara Westover as she recounts the time she spent inventing herself and performing through obstacles with complete determination and confidence in her ability to achieve her goals.
It is a tale of family dynamics and breaking through while breaking ties.
Education and the system that many hold to high standards are at the forefront of this memoir as these standards become questioned. Tara was seventeen when she first stepped foot in a classroom. Her life was anything but ordinary before, as she was raised by survivalists in the mountains of Idaho where she was not allowed any hospital visits as her family opted for herbalism and was far removed from mainstream society.
She was taught how to take on the end of the world and decided to take on formal education on her own. She taught herself mathematics and grammar and was able to get admitted into Brigham Young University where she studied history and other subjects.
But, after all the learning and being on her own, she still wondered if she’d traveled too far and if there was still a place for her back home. Tara’s life is quite similar to that of Kya.
This coming-of-age memoir is a truly inspiring book to read after Where the Crawdads Sing.
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang
Ruth Emmie Lang’s novel narrates an enchanting tale of Wevlyn Grey, a young boy who is raised by wolves.
After his parents’ tragic death, four-year-old Grey grows up in the woods and learns to understand the world of nature. He also possesses certain unusual talents and skills. When he meets a young girl named Mary, his life changes forever.
Lang’s debut novel is a magical story that explores a young boy’s adventure in an extraordinary way. Ruth Emmie Lang’s debut novel is very similar to Delia Owens’s Where the Crawdads Sing. Just like the Marsh Girl Kya, this is a survival story of a child who learned to live in nature all alone.
If you are looking for coming-of-age books like Where the Crawdads Sing, which also celebrates nature, you’ll love Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance.
The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller
The Paper Palace has been the place for summer family gatherings in Elle’s life.
Now at the age of fifty, Elle feels a slightly different emotion during the visit to the family summer place.
She has done something that can impact her life forever. She had just spent the night with her childhood friend Jonas for the very first time while their spouses chatted away indoors.
Elle is at a very desperate crossroads in her life, she has to decide between her beloved husband or her childhood sweetheart.
The Paper Palace is a beguiling love story that will hook you immediately.
Like Where the Crawdads Sing, Cowley Heller’s novel also examines the themes of family, childhood love, and betrayal.
It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover
This is the story of Lily who is in her early twenties.
She isn’t someone who had an easy life. Yet, she has come a long way in life and she is looking for a new life in Boston. But the unexpected meeting with the handsome neurosurgeon leads to a whole new path in her life. Both have an immediate connection, but they decide to spend more time together to get to know each other more. And that’s when Atlas, Lily’s first love, reappears.
It Ends with Us is a powerful story that’ll bring tears to your eyes.
Lily and Atlas’ story will remind you of Kya and Tate from Where The Crawdads Sing. So make sure to add It Ends With Us to your list of books to read after Delia Owens’s novel!
You’ll love this post-> 19 Heartbreaking Books Like ‘It Ends With Us’
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
Set in the Appalachian mountains, we follow Nineteen-year-old Cussy Mary Carter a librarian whose job is to deliver books and reading materials to rural areas
Cussy has to travel through dangerous mountains and slippery routes to do her job but since she belongs to the Blue People ancestry, the rare skin condition causes even more trouble for her.
Despite the struggle, Cussy loves her job which uplifts the spirit of a community. If you’re looking for books like Where the Crawdads Sing, with a strong female protagonist, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a great choice.
This heartfelt story describes the invincible heroine with courage, and compassion, who navigates her life through hardships.
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
Young Marietta Greer never wanted to live in her poor neighborhood or get pregnant at a young age. So to escape from these possibilities, she leaves her hometown, looking for a life somewhere new. She also decides to change her name to Taylor.
As she heads west in her car, she seems to have traveled with an abandoned child of a Cherokee woman. Later, when her car breaks down she finds herself in a new town, with a child in hand. Barbara Kingsolver’s classic novel is a 1988 debut novel that narrates the story of finding a life and forming a family in a different place.
The Bean Trees has so many similarities to Where The Crawdads Sing. You might not forget Jumpin’ and Mabel, who became Kya’s chosen family. Both Taylor and Kya have been able to find a family that was not blood-related. Both novels feature evocative descriptions and unforgettable characters.
Barbara Kingsolver’s debut novel offers a fascinating reading time. You’ll never be able to forget these fabulous places and characters.
The Girls in the Stilt House by Kelly Mustian
Kelly Mustian’s remarkable debut novel is set in 1920s Mississippi and follows two teenage girls who are brought up in impoverished families.
Ada is a sixteen-year-old girl who is forced to return home to live with her abusive father. Matilda is a black girl who dreams of having a good job and looking after her family. These two girls are drawn together through the most unlikely circumstances. When they find themselves in a world of corruption and bootleggers, they must find the strength to fight their own battles.
If you’re looking for Southern books like Where the Crawdads Sing, The Girls in the Stilt House is just the RIGHT book!
Like Kya, Ada is poor and an outcast and lives in a swamp. If you have loved the themes of friendship, isolation, and the resiliency of the human spirit in Delia Owens’s novel, you should read The Girls in the Stilt House.
Under the Magnolias by T.I. Lowe
Under the Magnolias is a powerful novel that follows the teenage girl Austin Foster.
After her mother’s death, her father falls into darkness, leaving Austin to raise her six siblings, including newly born twins. She also has another responsibility on her shoulder, the family’s tobacco farm.
Lowe narrates a moving portrayal of Austin and her family.
Life isn’t easy when tragedy follows the family one after the other. Although the community they live in offers helping hands, nobody really understands the young girl’s hardships, except Vance, the son of a wealthy local family.
If you’re looking for good books like Where the Crawdads Sing that are hauntingly beautiful, Under the Magnolias is for you.
Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano
Dear Edward narrates the story of a twelve-year-old boy who loses his entire family in a plane crash.
The boy, Edward, is the only survivor of the accident which took the lives of his parents, his brother, and all other passengers. However, his miraculous escape doesn’t promise him a good life.
Ann Napolitano masterfully narrates Edward’s journey after the crash. The story also describes the lives of other passengers and gives us glimpses of their life.
When you read Dear Edward, you’ll be able to see many similarities between Edward and Kya. Both novels are a testament to courage and the indomitable human spirit.
The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles
American novelist Amor Towles’ New York Times bestselling novel is a story about ambition, companionship, and camaraderie.
Emmett has been planning his future for a while. Now that he has just been released from the juvenile detention facility, he is going to find a new life in California. His mother had left him when he was young and his father had passed away.
The only family he has is his eight-year-old brother, Billy. So Emmett is well aware that he has to take up the courage and look for a fresh start. However, his best-laid plans go wrong when his friends visit him unexpectedly. As Emmet follows his friends to chase his dreams, their adventure turns out to be more challenging.
If you’re a fan of captivating and transporting historical fiction books similar to Where The Crawdads Sing, this book is a great choice. Like Delia Owens, Amor Towles is a master storyteller and you’ll find yourself lost in the story.
We Begin at the End by Chris Whitaker
Duchess Day Radley is a thirteen-year-old who bears the responsibility of her young brother Robin.
As most days, their drug-addict mother hardly remembers their existence, Duchess makes sure to protect her brother even during school time. She feeds her brother and makes sure that he is accompanied by a teacher. Yet, life is difficult as a young girl without the support of her parents. Kids often make fun of her and people of the town often want to handle them to social services.
Despite the troubles, Dutchess is determined to give a good life to her brother. She is determined to keep all the hardship to herself so that her little brother could live with her. The only person who has dedicated his life to these kids is the Chief of Police, Walk.
We Begin at the End is an unputdownable thriller packed with mystery, murder, and poverty. Read this beautifully written story if you’re looking for books like Delia Owens’ debut novel.
The Forgotten Home Child by Genevieve Graham
Next comes a historical fiction book inspired by the true story of the British Home Children.
The Forgotten Home Child is a heartbreaking and hopeful tale that alternates between the past and the present, the reader follows Winnifred as a young girl in 1936 and older Winny in 2018 as she goes through her life with regrets, secrets, and hopes.
Fifteen-year-old Winnie runs away from her family and finds a group of kids that becomes her new family.
The group gets caught stealing, and she is sent to Dr. Barnardo’s Barkingside Home for Girls.
The authorities want to put an end to poverty and give children homes. They have plans to send her and other children to Canada for a better life. Much to her dismay, she has pulled away from her friends only to live with a family that has no love left for her, and only wants her as an indentured servant.
In order to survive, Winny must believe she will find her friends again and break out of the system.
The Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristen Harmel
‘The Forest of Vanishing Stars’ is a coming-of-age World War II suspenseful story that follows a young woman, Yona, that uses what she knows about the wilderness and the ways to survive it to help the Jewish refugees who are seeking to escape the Nazis.
She does well until a secret she has been holding down emerges and threatens to ruin everything she has started. Yona was once all alone after her kidnapper died, but found a group of Jews fleeing the Nazis. From then on, she vowed to help them with survival skills as they helped her open her heart up to others.
After opening up, she finds herself betrayed as her past and present collide; a collision that could change everything. If you’re a fan of spellbinding and immersive novels like ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’, you will love this book.
The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes
When Alice Wright hears a call for women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s traveling library, Alice sees this as an opportunity to get away from her claustrophobic life in Kentucky and her overbearing father to do something adventurous.
Once she says goodbye to her handsome husband and her home, she finds the self-sufficient Margery and three other women. Margery’s the group’s new leader and eventually Alice’s greatest ally.
This novel is packed with passion, drama, and questions of loyalty and humanity and women who must face dangers while staying committed to their job of bringing facts to people to change their lives.
‘The Giver of Stars’ by Jojo Meyes has many themes that make it a perfect book to add to the list of books like ‘Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
In April 1992, Christopher Johnson McCandless decided to donate his money to charity, abandon everything he owned and went out to make a new identity for himself armored with only rice, a rifle, rifle rounds, a camera, and reading material.
Four months later, his decomposed body was found in the wild alone by a group of hunters. But what happened to him during those four months? ‘Into the Wild’ explores the real story of McCandles’ life during those four months, and who he was before he was found. ‘Into the Wild story’ deals with how to be accepted into society, and how to stay true to oneself as you attempt to explore who you are and what you truly need.
This biographical book about Christopher McCandless’ journey to the Alaskan wilderness is a great book recommendation that features lonely characters and mysterious deaths.
The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon
A mystery that is also a coming-of-age story, this debut novel set in England is about two girls who have to find out what it means to belong as their community is in need of a release from the guilt and obligation that haunts it.
When the two girls find out that about a decade ago, in 1976, Mrs. Creasy suddenly disappeared and the town chalked it up to the heat wave, spirited Grace, and thoughtful Tilly decide they must use their summer-looking answers.
They set out looking for God as they believe that God will lead them to Mrs. Creasy.
What they find is that everyone in the town has secrets of their own that make them afraid that they will not fit in, and Mrs. Creasy was uncovering these very secrets before she went missing.
‘The Trouble with Goats and Sheep’ is a mystery-driven coming-of-age novel as ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’.
Appalachian Daughter by Mary Jane Salyers
Next comes a compelling tale of a forgotten girl that will certainly be a good book to read after ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’.
On the final school day of the Eighth grade, Maggie dreams of getting away from her family where she has no identity as one of eight children and a life of poverty. Once she goes to high school she learns she is exceptional at shorthand typing and other classes and makes sure she fits in as her strict, hot-tempered mother Corie Mae tries to restrict her.
Luckily, she has an easy-going father that she can turn to support and overrule the restrictions placed on her by her mother.
Maggie is set on staying ahead in school so that she does not need to stay home to work on the dying farm, and makes acquaintances with all kinds of interesting and dangerous people that teach her life lessons like an escaped convict and horrible employer. She does her best to keep her eye on her goals as she persists, and imagines her dream life.
But, when her cousin JD reveals a dark secret that could shake her family, the Appalachian daughter struggles to hold onto her dreams.
Room by Emma Donoghue
Looking for books like ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ with breathtaking suspense, then you should read ‘Emma Donoghue’s Room’.
Four walls are all five-year-old Jack has ever known. “Room” is all of Jack’s and Ma’s life. Told through Jack’s energetic and limited language, their story unfolds. Ma reads to Jack, feeds, bathes, and plays all within “Room” every single day of their life. “Room” is Jack’s home. But to Ma, it is the place Old Nick has kept them imprisoned.
All Ma wants to do is protect and nurture her son, and try to give him the best life he could have. But, she knows he cannot have that within just four walls and must hatch a bold plan to escape once and for all. She does not know what is in store for them but must depend on Jack’s bravery and listening skills to help them get out.
Room is full of heart-wrenching moments. The love and trust between Jack and Ma stretch beyond those walls and must be the things that hold Jack together as he takes on what he has only been told by his mother.
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Jacob Jankowski was just a few months away from being graduated with a degree in Veterinary medicine when his parents got killed in an auto accident.
All of a sudden he is an orphan with no money or shelter. As he tries to run away from his life he ends up in “run away with the circus”. He gets a new job as a caretaker for the circus animals. As he finds new life among the performers and animals, he meets Marlena, the star of the equestrian act.
There is also an elephant named Rosie, who is infamous for being untrainable. As Jacob begins to form a special bond with new people in the circus, his life takes an unexpected turn.
‘Water for Elephants’ is a painfully beautiful novel that narrates the story of an abandoned child. It also explores the themes of nature, love, and courage.
Mary Dannie by Patricia Keil
‘Marie Dannie’ by Patricia Keil will transport you into and around a tiny cabin in the mountains of Southwestern Kentucky.
Set with photographs, and narrated by the eldest child, this story is full of the simple joys, hopes, and wisdom that surround a little girl growing up in Appalachia in the 1940s. She shares all about her life as her mining family scrapes by on what little they have besides each other.
If you’re looking for captivating books such as Where the Crawdads Sing which transports you to wonders of nature, ‘Mary Dannie’ is a must-read.
The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman
15-year-old Maggie Hughes is smitten with the French boy Gabriel Phénix.
Despite knowing the fact that her English-speaking Canadian father will never approve of their relationship, Maggie and Gabriel are determined to be together. However, when she becomes pregnant she is forced to give up her baby for adoption. But just before leaving her baby, she names her Elodie. Years later, the story is told through the perspectives of the young Elodie and her impoverished life in the orphanage, “The Home For Unwanted Girls”.
To get more government funding, the orphanage is now turned into a mental hospital. Because of this, all the orphans are announced as mentally ill. So the girls in the orphanage are not getting adopted anymore, including Elodie. ‘The Home for Unwanted Girls’ is a heartbreaking and suspenseful novel.
Like the heroine of Delia Owens’ Where The Crawdads Sing Kya, Elodie is an unforgettable character.
The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
Spanning over forty years, Pat Conroy’s powerful novel narrates the story of a dysfunctional family from South Carolina.
The story is narrated by Tom Wingo who is the twin brother of Savannah. Born as a child of an army-veteran father and a poetess mother, Tom, and his siblings never had an easy life.
Their conservative father was violent towards his wife and them. As Tom narrates the story to the psychiatrist Susan who is treating his sister, we are taken into the lives of the Wingo family. From their childhood on the intercoastal island to their traumatic adult life.
‘Prince of Tides’ is a lyrical tale like ‘Where The Crawdads Sing’ that you would want to read again and again.
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Lisa Wingate’s bestselling novel is based on a real-life scandal that involves the director of the adoption organization.
Alternating between two timelines from 1939 to the present day this heartwarming story takes you to the lives of Rill Foss and her four younger siblings at the Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage. In the present day, we meet Avery Stafford who is living the dream.
She was born into wealth, and now works as a successful federal prosecutor, has the love of her life, and their wedding is coming up. When Avery accidentally learns about a dark family secret she decides to learn more about it. As she comes face to face with more questions and must go through her family’s long-hidden history to find redemption or devastation.
If you are looking for similar novels like Delia Owen’s ‘Where The Crawdads Sing’ which narrates the story through the eyes of an abandoned child, ‘Before we were yours’ is a great read.
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
‘The Dutch house’ is a deeply moving tale of the Conroy family.
Set over the course of several decades, the story primarily focuses on the siblings Danny and his older sister Maeve. At the end of the Second World War, their father Cyril Conroy had bought a lavish estate, the Dutch House. However, after their father’s death, stepmother Andrea allegedly takes over the family home. Soon after, both siblings are homeless and find solace in one another. And in the years that follow both siblings occasionally drive to the Dutch House and observe it from outside, reminiscing about their childhood.
Like ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’, ‘The Dutch House’ is a coming-of-age narrative. Ann Patchett’s compelling novel is just as endearing as Delia Owens’ debut novel.
Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
One of the many reasons I loved ‘Where The Crawdads Sing’ is that it’s a nature-infused tale that explores the life of an adolescent girl.
This is also the reason I highly recommend reading Sue Monk Kidd’s 2003 novel ‘Secret Life of Bees’. Set in South Carolina the story features Lily Owens, a 14-year-old girl who lives with her abusive father. Like Kya, Lily longs for her mother. As Kya was able to find a family with Jumpin’ and his family, Lily ends up among the black beekeeping sisters.
It’s with them that Lily learns about family and life. Kidd has written an absorbing read that illustrates the power of community and womanhood.
There you have the list of 26 books to read after Where The Crawdads Sing.
Have you read any books from the list already?
Let me know int the comments