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Captivating Books Like Where the Crawdads Sing
After reading Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, I instantly wanted to read something that had a similar atmosphere and character dynamics to the novel. After researching and reading, I have compiled a list of what to read after Where the Crawdads Sing!
About Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Delia Owens tells the story of Kya Clark, a young woman who has been isolated from society and is suspected of murder. Through her journey, Owens explores the influence of isolation on behavior and the secrets of nature.
Books To Read If You Like Where the Crawdads Sing
1. Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emile Lang
In this debut novel by Ruth Lang, we get a story full of nature and magic.
It follows Weylyn Grey, who was raised by wolves, and the owner of a pig named Merlin. He knows that he is different from others, but not how special until he stops a tornado in Oklahoma.
Strange, magical events follow Weylyn around that are both curious and a danger to himself, and the women he loves.
Mary knows there are risks with staying with Weyleyn but she knows once you meet him you will never what to leave.
The story is told from the perspectives of people that know him and how they have been impacted by him in some way.
2. The Round House by Louise Erdrich
In 1988, Geraldine Coutts is attacked on a reservation in North Dakota. She is slow to reveal all that had happened to the police, her husband, Bazil, and her son Joe.
Joe’s life is changed by this attack on his mother, as he tries to help her even as she slips more into herself. While his father tries to find justice, Joe becomes frustrated with the investigation. He sets out with his friends to find out what exactly happened to his mother.
Just like in Where the Crawdads Sing, this is a coming-of-age novel and mystery that will have you on the edge of your seat.
3. Where the Line Bleeds by Jesmyn Ward
This book follows Joshua and Christophe, twin brothers, over a course of one summer. They both have just finished high school and are looking for jobs. Joshua gets a job but Christophe starts to sell drugs.
This story beautifully portrays family love, poverty, and the hurt of addiction, and whether bonds can be sustained through anything.
This is a life-changing book that you don’t want to miss out on!
4. My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
This breathtaking story follows Turtle Alveston who at 14 years old, roams the Northern California coast alone. She has been isolated since the death of her mother and under the thumb of her abusive and charismatic father.
Her world starts to get bigger as she makes friends with Jacob, a high school boy who is infatuated with her. She starts to realize how dysfunctional her life is and is motivated to escape her father.
With both physical and emotional bravery, Turtle starts to change her life, and become her own hero.
5. Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West
Ruby King’s mother is found murdered in their Chicago Southside home, and the police don’t take it seriously. Saying it’s just more violence in a black neighborhood.
But Ruby is devastated by the loss of her mother and is now left with her abusive father. Layla, her best friend, is there for Ruby until her father tries to push Layla away.
In Layla’s quest to save Ruby, she uncovers dangerous secrets about their families and learns about facing trauma head-on so that Ruby can break free.
6. The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne
This story follows Helena Pelletier, who is married, has two daughters, and a small business. But she has a deep secret.
Helena’s mother was kidnapped as a teenager by her father and kept in a remote cabin in Michigan’s upper peninsula. Helena was born two years after the abduction and raised in isolation. She loved her father until she discovers how barbaric he could be.
Following her more than twenty years later, she has ignored the past so deeply that her husband doesn’t even know the truth about what happened in the marsh.
But then her father escapes from prison and disappears into the marsh. The police start searching for him, but Helena knows the only person you could hunt him down, is her, the daughter that he trained to survive the wilderness.
This is a perfect book to read after Where the Crawdads Sing because it involves mystery, family dynamics, and the wilderness atmosphere.
7. The Kingdoms of Savannah: A Novel by George Dawes Green
Morgana Musgrove, a prominent member of Savannah society and detective, is called onto the case of a murder at a bar. One man was murdered and his “companion” disappeared.
Morgana has a very strong personality and draws her four grown children into helping her solve the case. The family soon uncovers dark secrets, that will change Savannah’s power structure.
She travels from the underbelly of the city to the most elite homes to unravel this case while juggling her dysfunctional family.
8. Carolina Moonset by Matt Goldman
Joey Green has returned to South Carolina to help look after his father who is succumbing to dementia, and give his mother a break.
Marshall Green’s short-term memory is gone, but his oldest memories are more real than ever. As his dad keeps slipping back in time, Joey grows anxious when deadly secrets, past scandals, and dark suspicions resurface. These memories have the power to change everything that Joey has ever known.
Especially when the police knock on his door about a murder.
9. Before We Were Yours: A Novel by Lisa Wingate
This book follows the story of 12-year-old Rill Foss and her siblings, who are taken from their family and thrown into an orphanage, and Avery Stafford, a present-day woman who discovers the dark truth of her family’s past. Based on a real-life scandal, the novel explores the themes of family, redemption, and the power of the heart to remember where we belong.
10. A Land More Kind Than Home by Wiley Cash
This story is told by three alternating narrators that weave circles within circles as they tell what has happened from their point of view as Carson Chambliss, a pastor of River Road Church of Christ takes over the community.
We have Adelaide Lyle, a woman in her late 80s and a midwife. Clem Barefield, who has been the sheriff for decades. Lastly, Jess Hall, who is 9 years old, who cares deeply for his mute brother, Christopher.
Each person is woven together and the author did a fantastic job of telling this chilling mystery.
11. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
The book is set in 1974 when we meet the Allbright family. The father is a former POW, who was changed from the Vietnam war, and impulsively decides to move his family to Alaska, and live off the grid.
The mother, Cora, and her 13-year-old daughter, Leni, hope that this move will lead to a better future for their family.
Not only is the father completely changed from what they used to know, but in this time period, there was a lot of change happening around them.
Alaska seemed like a good choice at first, but as winter approached, the father’s mental state starts to get worst. Cora and Leni are faced with whether the danger in their own home is worst than the Alaska frontier.
12. The Girls in the Stilt House by Kelly Mustian
This story is split into three parts, where we learn about Ada, then Mathilda, and lastly how they all weave together.
Ada was only 15 years old when she ran away because her father was abusive, but she is forced to come back home at 16. Then Mathilda, 15 years old, is the daughter of a sharecropper. One night the girls are together and witness a murder.
This book is full of twits, racial tension, murder, hope even when it’s hopeless, and the heavy burden of poverty.
This book is great to read after Where the Crawdads Sing!
13. Swamplandia! by Karen Russel
This story follows the Bigtree family who owns a gator-wrestling theme park in the Flordia everglades. Ava Bigtree has lived her entire life in the theme park and when her mother dies, their family to torn apart by the loss.
Her father is nowhere to be seen, her sister falls in love with a ghost, and her brother, Kiwi, goes to work at a rival theme park.
Ava is left alone to go through the magical swamps straight into the “underworld” with Bird Man as her guide.
I choose this book because of the lush setting that is reminiscent of Where the Crawdads Sing.
14. The Good Dream by Donna VanLiere
Set in Tennessee in the 1950s, the story follows Ivorie Walker who is in her early thirties. When her mom dies and leaves her the family farm, she realizes just how lonely she is.
But her life is turned upside down when a feral, little boy starts to sneak onto her land to steal food. She is determined to find out who he is and why he lives alone in a lean-to hut in the hills.
As she digs for more secrets, she inadvertently uncovers dark secrets the community wants to hide.
15. Magic Hour by Kristin Hannah
This book follows Dr. Julia Cates who was once the best child psychiatrist in the country, until a scandal ruins her career, and forces her to hide from the media.
When she gets a call from her sister, Ellie, the police chief, she jumps at the chance to escape. The town has found a girl, Alice, who comes from the woods.
She realizes she will need help and calls the people she left long ago, including her sister and Dr. Max Cerrasin, who has his own secrets.
The story is centered around the characters as they both heal and learn where Alice belongs.
16. The Giver of Stars: A Novel by Jojo Moyes
Alice Wright is married to Bennett Van Cleve but is stifled by her life in the small Kentucky town. When a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s traveling library, then Alice signs on.
Margery is the leader of the group and is very much a feminist. They are joined by three other women who become known as the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky.
This story follows them and the men they love, and how they refuse to follow convention or be beaten down by men. At times their job is dangerous, but they are committed to the job of bringing books to people who have never had them.
This is based on a true story which makes it even more impactful!
17. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
This story starts in Shaker Heights, a suburb of Cleveland where everything is planned out, and everyone has to play by its rules.
When Mia Warren, a single mother with secrets, rents a house from the prominent Richardsons, their lives start to weave together. But Mia often goes against the status quo that starts to mess up the carefully planned community.
When another prominent family tries to adopt a Chinese-American baby, the town is dramatically divided on what should be done. Mrs. Richardson is determined to uncover Mia’s past, but it comes at an expected cost.
Where the Crawdads Sing Movie
If you want to re-live all the good moments of the book, then you can also watch the movie! It’s now streaming on Netflix and Amazon. I’m planning on creating a reaction YouTube vlog for the movie so make sure to be on the watch for that!
I really hope you enjoyed this list and that you can pick what to read after Where the Crawdads Sing. If you need more recommendations check out this awesome post from the Seattle Public Library. Make sure to share this post with other bookish friends who loved the book!
If you want more southern-based novels, then check out this post about books set in New Orleans! There are multiple genres shared so you will be able to find exactly what you’re looking for.