33 Books Like Where the Crawdads Sing

Posted on Jul 25, 2023

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Written by P.J McNulty

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In this article, we discover and showcase books that echo the themes and style of Delia Owens’ acclaimed novel, “Where the Crawdads Sing”. 

Known for its evocative depiction of nature, compelling coming-of-age narrative, and intriguing mystery elements, Owens’ novel has captivated countless readers. 

If you were one of the many who were drawn into the world of Kya, the Marsh Girl, and found yourself longing for more once you turned the last page, this list is for you. 

We’ve curated a selection of 33 books that, while each unique in their own right, share a style or theme with “Where the Crawdads Sing” in their exploration of nature, complex characters, and engrossing storytelling.

Here are a list of books like Where The Crawdads Sing:

  • “The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah: This novel tells the story of a family that moves to Alaska in 1974 to live off the grid, but they are ill-prepared for the harsh, isolating reality. The daughter, Leni, comes of age in the wild, unforgiving landscape and must navigate her volatile father’s behavior and the challenges of survival.
  • “Educated” by Tara Westover: This memoir recounts Westover’s journey from growing up in a strict, abusive, survivalist family in Idaho to earning a PhD from Cambridge University. It’s a powerful exploration of the struggle for self-invention and the transformative power of education.
  • “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd: Set in 1964 South Carolina, this novel follows 14-year-old Lily Owens, who runs away from her abusive father and finds a new home with three beekeeping sisters. It’s a tale of mothers lost and found, and of the power of female friendship.
  • “The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls: This memoir tells the story of Walls’ unconventional, poverty-stricken upbringing at the hands of her deeply dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant parents. It’s a testament to the power of resilience and the unconditional love within a family.
  • “Before We Were Strangers” by Renée Carlino: This novel is a second-chance romance between two characters who reconnect after 15 years apart. It’s a story of love, fate, and the power of timing.
  • “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah: This historical novel tells the story of two sisters in France during World War II and their struggle to survive and resist the German occupation. It’s a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women.
  • “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine” by Gail Honeyman: This novel follows Eleanor Oliphant, a socially awkward and routine-oriented woman whose life changes when she and a coworker help an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk. It’s a story about the importance of friendship and human connection.
  • “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng: This novel explores the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives in Shaker Heights, Ohio. It’s a riveting tale that explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood.
  • “The Light Between Oceans” by M.L. Stedman: This novel tells the story of a lighthouse keeper and his wife who make a devastating decision after a baby washes up on their remote Australian island. It’s a deeply moving tale about right and wrong and how sometimes they look the same.
  • “The Book of Lost Friends” by Lisa Wingate: This historical novel follows the interweaving stories of three young women searching for family amidst the destruction of the post–Civil War South, and an unlikely modern-day teacher who learns of their story and its vital connection to her students’ lives. It’s a tale of love and courage, and the search for home.
  • “The Water Dancer” by Ta-Nehisi Coates: This novel follows Hiram Walker, a young man born into bondage on a plantation, who discovers he has a mysterious power when he nearly drowns in a river. It’s a story about memory, history, and the profound struggle for freedom.
  • “The Nickel Boys” by Colson Whitehead: This novel is based on the real story of a reform school in Florida that operated for 111 years and warped the lives of thousands of children. It’s a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers.
  • “The Marsh King’s Daughter” by Karen Dionne: This thriller follows Helena, who was born into captivity after her mother was abducted as a teenager, and now lives a normal life — until her past comes back to haunt her. It’s a suspenseful, atmospheric tale of a woman confronting the demons of her past.
  • “The Sound of Gravel” by Ruth Wariner: This memoir recounts Wariner’s childhood in a polygamist Mormon community in rural Mexico, and her escape from it. It’s a harrowing, yet inspiring, tale of survival and the power of perseverance and love.
  • “The Snow Child” by Eowyn Ivey: This novel is set in 1920s Alaska and follows a childless couple who, in a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall, build a child out of snow, only to find a real child in her place the next morning. It’s a magical and heartbreaking story about love, loss, and the wildness of nature.
  • “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein: This novel is narrated by a philosophical dog named Enzo who believes in the legend that a dog “who is prepared” will be reincarnated in his next life as a human. It’s a heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope.
  • “The Language of Flowers” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh: This novel follows Victoria, a young woman who ages out of the foster system and uses her talent for flowers to overcome her past and create a future. It’s a story about the redemptive power of love and the hidden language of flowers.
  • “The Thirteenth Tale” by Diane Setterfield: This novel tells the story of a biographer who is summoned to write the life story of a reclusive author with a mysterious past. It’s a gothic suspense novel about family secrets and the power of storytelling.
  • “The Forgotten Garden” by Kate Morton: This novel follows a woman on a quest to discover her true identity after finding out she was found alone on a ship to Australia when she was a child. It’s a story of mystery and self-discovery, moving between the early 20th century and the present day.
  • “The Orchardist” by Amanda Coplin: This novel tells the story of a solitary orchardist who provides shelter to two runaway teenage girls in the untamed American West, and the consequences that unfold. It’s a haunting story of love and redemption.
  • “The Lace Reader” by Brunonia Barry: This novel follows a woman with the psychic ability to predict the future through patterns in lace as she returns to her hometown to confront her troubled past. It’s a mesmerizing tale of madness, love, and the ties that bind.
  • “The River” by Peter Heller: This novel follows two college friends on a wilderness canoe trip that turns into a fight for survival when they encounter a wildfire and a mysterious man. It’s a gripping story of friendship and survival in the remote backcountry.
  • “The Mountain Between Us” by Charles Martin: This novel tells the story of two strangers who survive a plane crash in the remote wilderness and must rely on each other to endure. It’s a tale of survival, resilience, and unexpected love.
  • “The Life We Bury” by Allen Eskens: This novel follows a college student who gets entangled in a murder investigation when he writes a biography of a convicted murderer for a class assignment. It’s a suspenseful story about guilt and innocence, and the power of truth.
  • “The Weight of Water” by Anita Shreve: This novel interweaves two narrative threads: one about a contemporary photographer covering a century-old crime, and the other about the crime itself. It’s a story about jealousy, loss, and the destructive power of suspicion.
  • “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle” by David Wroblewski: This novel follows a mute boy who communicates with his specially trained dogs, and his life is upended by a tragedy that forces him to confront his destiny. It’s a riveting family saga steeped in the natural world.
  • “The Cove” by Ron Rash: This novel is set in rural North Carolina during World War I and tells the story of a love affair that has tragic consequences. It’s a story about the power of love and the harm of superstition.
  • “The Poet’s Dog” by Patricia MacLachlan: This novel follows a dog who rescues two children during a snowstorm and shares with them the wisdom he learned from his poet owner. It’s a heartwarming story about love, loss, and the power of words.
  • “The Shell Collector” by Anthony Doerr: This is a collection of short stories that explore the variety of life on Earth and the myriad ways humans experience it. It’s a celebration of the natural world and the human capacity for wonder.
  • “The Wildlands” by Abby Geni: This novel follows a family torn apart by a devastating tornado and the one brother who becomes an eco-terrorist. It’s a story about the bond between siblings and the lengths we’ll go to for the ones we love.
  • “The Stranger in the Woods” by Michael Finkel: This non-fiction book tells the true story of a man who lived alone in the Maine woods for 27 years, surviving on what he could steal from nearby cabins. It’s a fascinating exploration of solitude, survival, and the impact of extreme isolation on the human psyche.
  • “The Bear and the Nightingale” by Katherine Arden: This novel is a magical realist tale set in medieval Russia, where a young woman must defy her community to protect them from an ancient evil. It’s a story about the clash of religion and folklore, and the power of a young woman’s determination.
  • “The Signature of All Things” by Elizabeth Gilbert: This novel follows the life of Alma Whittaker, a 19th-century botanist who seeks to understand the mechanisms of evolution. It’s a sweeping story of discovery, love, and the intricate workings of the natural world.

We hope this list of books similar to “Where the Crawdads Sing” inspires your reading.

Each title offers a unique world to explore, characters to meet, and themes to ponder. 

Whether you’re looking for another story that captures the raw beauty of nature, a narrative that delves into the complexities of human relationships, or a mystery that keeps you on the edge of your seat, you’re sure to find a book on this list that speaks to you. 

And who knows? 

As you immerse yourself in these stories, you might just find the spark of inspiration to pen your own tale

Disclosure: Some of the links above may contain affiliate partnerships, meaning, at no additional cost to you, Self-Publishing School may earn a commission if you click through to make a purchase.
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