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Bookmarked Blog

So you’ve finished the Delia Owens book everyone has been raving about, and now you’re on the hunt for more books like Where the Crawdads Sing. Well, don’t worry, folks – we’ve got the roundup you need.

Since its January 2020 release, modern fiction gem Crawdads has been fast gaining fans – in no small part thanks to actress Reese Witherspoon picking it for her Hello Sunshine Book Club. The novel quickly gained no. 1 New York Times bestseller status, not to mention being named Dymocks’ 2019 Book of the Year AND hitting the top spot in Dymocks Top 101 list in 2021 and 2022. Oh, and did we mention it’s being made into a film for Netflix starring Daisy Edgar-Jones? Clearly, there’s something good going on within these pages!

Set in 1950s North Carolina, Where the Crawdads Sing is a murder mystery, but it’s so much more. It’s the story of Kya, a six-year-old girl whose family abandons her, leaving her to essentially raise herself in a shack in the swamp. With no money and no formal education, Kya learns to live off the land and becomes known to the locals as the ‘Marsh Girl’. Fast-forward nearly two decades, when the body of a young man is discovered in the swamp, and Kya becomes the chief suspect…

We won’t give away any more, but if you haven’t read this thriller-coming-of-age novel yet, bookmark this page (you’re going to need it when you’re done), grab a copy and get reading. When you’ve devoured it, dive into our pick of books similar to Where the Crawdads Sing


Educated

Educated
Tara Westover

If you liked Where the Crawdads Sing, add Educated to your list immediately. Both books explore the notion of education as a tool for freedom and power, but while Kya’s tale of survival is beautifully constructed fiction, Tara Westover’s memoir is quite incredibly, all true.

Sharing the story of her life growing up in a family of survivalists, Tara had never stepped foot in a classroom or received healthcare due to her father’s doomsday prepper beliefs. At 16, she realised she needed to leave – and began to educate herself. Truly inspiring stuff, folks.

 
The Secret Life of Bees

The Secret Life of Bees
Sue Monk Kidd

If the historical fiction genre is your jam, The Secret Life of Bees is another beautiful coming-of-age story set in the 60s and has to be one of our favourite books similar to Where the Crawdads Sing. Like Crawdads, the story centres around a young girl grappling with life, an abusive father, and a deep connection to nature, but also explores notions of womanhood, motherhood and love.

 
The Nightingale

The Nightingale
Kristin Hannah

If what you’re looking for in books similar to Where the Crawdads Sing is the championing of women, then you must read The Nightingale. As invading German forces take control of the quiet French village of Carriveau, two adult sisters find themselves thrust into the middle of the horrors of World War II.

Faced with unthinkable choices and adversity like they’ve never known, Vianne and Isabelle each embark on their own dangerous path, showing resilience, love, passion and the strength of the human spirit.

 
The Poisonwood Bible

The Poisonwood Bible
Barbara Kingsolver

Kingsolver is truly a master storyteller, and her 2017 novel, The Poisonwood Bible, is proof. If you liked Where the Crawdads Sing, this book needs to be next on your reading list.

The beautifully woven story follows evangelical missionary Nathan Price, who packs up his wife and their four daughters in 1959 and heads to the Belgian Congo. Originally only intending to stay for a year, the family make a more permanent life there – and what follows is an incredible tale of transformation over three decades in postcolonial Africa.

 
Migrations

Migrations
Charlotte McConaghy

If reverence for the raw beauty and wild ferocity of Mother Nature is what you’re looking for in books like Where the Crawdads Sing, you need to put Migrations at the top of your to-read list. There are plenty of dark-past-catching-up-with-you moments for the lead character, Franny Stone, too, who’s following the last flock of Arctic terns in the world to Antarctica on what could be their final flight.

But Franny’s chasing more than just the endangered birds – and she finds out more about herself than she ever knew. An intimate, poignant and, at times, heartbreaking tale that hits close to home.

 
All The Light We Cannot See

All The Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr

As far as breathtaking and evocative books like Where the Crawdads Sing go, this is another not to miss. Coming in at #43 in Dymocks’ 2022 Top 101, this is a beautiful coming-of-age novel that follows a 12-year-old blind French girl and an orphaned German boy whose paths collide amidst the chaos of the German occupation of France during World War II.

Though they’re ostensibly on different sides of the war, Marie-Laure and Werner forge a connection that shows the ways people try to be good to one another in the face of impossible odds.


Phew, what a list! When you’ve made your way through all of our top books like Where the Crawdads Sing and you’re ready to add more to your must-read list, take a look at the latest award-winning reads available on Dymocks’ shelves, explore the bestsellers on offer and get some great recommendations with our books of the month.

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