Believe the hype! Where the Crawdads Sing is your book club’s next great read. Here are ten Where the Crawdads Sing book club questions to get the conversation started.
Where the Crawdads Sing is author Delia Owens’ debut novel (but not her first book). Since its release in August 2018, Where the Crawdads Sing has become a #1 New York Times bestseller. It was also a book club pick for Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine book club.
If it’s good enough for Reese’s book club, it’s good enough for yours, right?
But what is the book about? Part murder mystery, part coming-of-age story, part romance, part courtroom drama, Where the Crawdads Sing is a lot of things. It’s the story of Kya, a young girl who is abandoned by her family and forced to raise herself alone in the marshes of North Carolina. When a well-liked man from the nearby town of Barkley Cove is murdered, the townspeople suspect Kya, the weird “marsh girl.”
By the time you get to the end of this novel, you’ll likely be dying to discuss this book as much as I was.
Where the Crawdads Sing tackles issues of prejudice, isolation and loneliness, love, animal and human nature, and so much more. But with so much going on in this book, where to start? Here are just a few book club questions for Where the Crawdads Sing to jumpstart your group’s discussion.
10 Where the Crawdads Sing Book Club Questions
- Before becoming a New York Times bestselling novelist, Delia Owens was a zoologist. She’s written three nonfiction books with her former husband Mark Owens about her experiences with animals. How do the themes of this novel and Owens’s style of writing reflect her interests and work with animals?
- How realistic is Kya’s upbringing in the marsh? Do you believe she really could have made it out there on her own?
- In interviews, Delia Owens has said she wrote this book about feeling alone. How is that expressed in the novel?
- Throughout the novel, there are two men who play a major role in Kya’s life: Chase and Tate. How would you compare these two characters? And while we can talk about how they’re different, it might also be interested to discuss how they’re similar. What do these men, together and separately, represent in Kya’s life?
- Speaking of characters who play important roles in Kya’s life, how did you feel about Jumpin’ and Mabel? Are they parental figures for Kya, or something else? How did they influence the person she becomes, if at all?
- One more question about connection with other characters: there is a palpable lack of women in Kya’s life. At the beginning of the novel, Kya’s mother leaves. Kya doesn’t have any female friendships to speak of. Would Kya’s story be different has she women in her life? If so, how?
- Kya learns about human nature and how to relate to other people mostly through observing animals. Most notably, Kya observes female fireflies changing their flashes to communicate different things. How does this observation affect Kya’s relationship with others? What about her other observations of nature? In what ways do they affect who she is and how she interacts with the world around her?
- Poetry is a very important element of this novel. In fact, it’s a major point of connection for Tate and Kya. Why is poetry so significant to Tate? To Kya? What does the poetry throughout the novel add to the narrative?
- As the poor, uneducated, and strange “marsh girl,” Kya is ostracized by the community. How does the public’s view of her affect how the justice system treats her? Considering her treatment and the way the town sees her, how did you feel about the results of the court case? Was it satisfying? Believable?
- How did you feel about Tate’s discovery at the end of the novel? Did you expect it? Does it change the way you view the rest of the story?
These ten questions for your book club’s discussion of Where the Crawdads Sing are just a starting off point. There are so many things to talk about in this novel. For more ideas, read Book Riot’s Book Club Discussion Questions, which includes 40 questions that work for nearly any book.
Want more book club guides? Read my post about Book Club Discussion Questions for An American Marriage. Maybe this will be your next book club pick!