Ann’s Cottage Blog

Author Ann McAllister Clark - muses about books, authors and St. Augustine, Florida

Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens

  Book Review – September 2018

Literary Fiction/Womans Fiction

Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens

G.P. Putnam’s Sons, Aug , 2018

One word comes to my mind after reading this book – Wonderful – and all that that word implies. I read the book in two and a half days not because it was a fast read but because it drew me in almost immediately and at the turn of each page I wanted to know more and what would happen next.

Although Where the Crawdads Sing is her first and debut novel, Delia Owens is not at  all new to creating stunning literature having co-authored three non-fiction, best selling, lyrical nature books with her husband Mark Owens when they as wildlife scientists lived in and wrote their memoirs about Africa: Cry of the Kalahari, The Eye of the Elephant, and Secrets of the Savanna.

In Where the Crawdads Sing, Owens writes about seven year old Kya abandoned and growing up in the swamps and marshes of coastal North Carolina.    This is the coming-of-age story of a girl living alone moving into womanhood.  She is helped by a few but not many. The book is also a mystery story, a nature expose and a love story.  I learned much about the nature surrounding coastal marshes and isn’t that what we want in our reading, to finish a satisfying story while realizing that the author has subtly taught us something we did not know or had not considered before?  The book is filled to the brim with the meanness of prejudice, sweetness of love, forgiveness and the tenacity of the human spirit.

This really is a story full of wonder and I can easily recommend it.





Sue Grafton

I was saddened to hear of the passing of American mystery writer, Sue Grafton just after Christmas, December 28, 2017.  Her Alphabet books have been so well received over the years and several of them were inspiration for movies.  Ms Grafton’s books began with A is for Alibi and ended with Y is for Yesterday.

A bookstore owner friend of mine here in St. Augustine formed a friendship with Sue Grafton over the years and when he traveled to California to visit family, he often arranged to meet Ms Grafton at one of her book signings to have his growing collection of her books signed.  She was always friendly and approachable and he enjoyed this friendship until his death a few years ago.

I know her family knows how she afforded so many of us mystery lovers hours of pleasure as we became friends with her characters, her main character private investigator Kinsey Millhone, enjoyed her fictional town of Santa Teresa and rode the ribbons of her story telling.

Her books will live on for decades of readers enjoyment.

Many of her witty quotes can be found on Google and elsewhere but I find these three bring a smile.

“Ideas are easy. It’s the execution of ideas that really separates the sheep from the goats.”

“I focus on the writing and let the rest of the process take care of itself. I’ve learned to trust my own instincts and I’ve also learned to take risks.”

And finally, “If high heels were so wonderful, men would be wearing them.”

Thank you, Sue Grafton for many hours of fun, interest and escape.

Why I Write Fiction

I write fiction because I am fascinated by the human spirit and how it ebbs and flows, twists and turns over a lifetime. I see so many social circumstances  I want to explore and have always found it freeing to explore these conditions in fiction. I see writing fiction as a delightful part of my future.


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