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18 Captivating Books Like Where The Crawdads Sing

Last Updated on December 1, 2023 by Louisa

Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is a romantic suspense novel that’s the perfect combination of mystery, romance, and coming of age.

I loved the main character Kya and her unique backstory and found myself rooting for her throughout the story.

Only when it ended I felt like I wasn’t ready for the excitement to end, so I started reading some similar books to Where the Crawdads Sing to fill the void.

If you’re looking for some books like Where The Crawdads Sing that have themes of mystery, suspense, love, loneliness, and prejudice, then you’ve come to the right place.

Those eager to find something to read after Where The Crawdads Sing, will enjoy the options I’ve picked out to read next.

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase through any of these links. 

Quick Answer: Top 3 Picks!

Need a book fast but don’t have much time? Here are my top three favorites!

Our Favourites!

[(This Heart of Mine)] [By (author) Brenda Novak] published on (March, 2015)

#1 Best in Romance

This Heart Of Mine by Brenda Novak

  • A romance thriller novel about a young girl who becomes obsessed with her ex-boyfriend
  • It has themes of love, forgiveness, and second chances
  • New York Times bestselling author

A Deadly Secret: Imperiled Young Widows Regency Romance series, Book 3

#2 Best in Thriller

A Deadly Secret by Melanie Dickerson

  • A romantic suspense novel set in the Regency period
  • About a young woman accused of killing her abusive husband
  • New York Times bestselling author 

My Abandonment (tie-In): Now a Major Film: LEAVE NO TRACE

#3 Best in Mystery

My Abandonment by Peter Rock

  • About a father and daughter who live in the wilderness, but secrets come out when they are discovered
  • Inspired by a true story
  • Themes of survival and hope

Summary of Where The Crawdads Sing

Before I get into the top similar books to Where The Crawdads Sing, let’s quickly recap the story so you know what kind of plots, themes, and characters to expect in the similar titles I’ve selected.

Don’t worry if you’re still reading, I won’t reveal any spoilers.

Everyone in town knows of Kya as “Marsh Girl.” She was abandoned at a young age and grew up in solitude by the marsh. As a teen, she strikes the interest of two young men in town.

When a young man she was connected to is discovered dead, everyone in town suspects Kya.

But most people in the town don’t know Kya or her life. As we follow Kya’s trial, we learn more about her and how she came to be isolated in the marsh.

She may not be like everyone else in society, but the overarching question remains; is she capable of murder?

Where The Crawdads Sing is a story about loneliness, young budding love, solitude, and bravery. I really loved Kya’s character and the plot is vastly different from anything else I’ve read.

Where The Crawdads Sing was also turned into a feature film and was nominated for a Gold Globe in 2023.

Books Like Where The Crawdads Sing

Now you’ve been reminded of the story, it’s time to show you some other captivating stories similar to Where The Crawdads Sing.

1. This Heart Of Mine – Brenda Novak

In Where The Crawdads Sing, Kya is accused of murdering someone she was romantically involved with. For another exciting book with a similar storyline, I suggest This Heart Of Mine.

The story follows Phoenix, who was over the moon when she won the heart of popular student Riley.

Especially when she found out she was pregnant with his baby. Her heart was absolutely crushed when he broke up with her and started dating another girl. 

Phoenix was accused when someone ran down Riley’s new love interest. To make matters worse, she has no way to prove her innocence. 

Now, many years later, Phoenix has been released from prison. She wants to reconnect with her son despite his father’s hesitations.

While Where the Crawdads Sing focuses on the trial, this one is focused on the life after. Phoenix is looking for a second chance and just wants to get to know her son.

I was almost moved to tears reading this story. It’s so tragic and I really felt for Phoenix. Oh young love…

2. Texas Splendor – Lorraine Heath

Where The Crawdads Sing tells us the story of Kya leading up to her being accused of a crime. Texas Splendor is also about a wrongly accused person but tells of a man’s struggle after being freed from prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

The story follows Austin, who is happy to be a free man. He has two goals now that he is out of prison, clear his name and reconnect with his love.

However, life rarely works out as planned. Austin meets a young woman who has overcome a tragedy and finds himself intrigued by her and her story. 

Could a new life be better than the one Austin has imagined for himself?

The pacing is excellent, building suspense at a perfect tempo throughout the entire book.

3. A Deadly Secret – Melanie Dickerson

Are you ready for more romantic suspense books like Where The Crawdads Sing that also have themes of escaping abusive relationships? Then you might want to pick up a copy of A Deadly Secret by Melanie Dickerson next.

The story follows Lillian, who is a young mother with an abusive husband.

When she decides to escape with their child, he follows them. The only thing is, he winds up dead the day after he follows them.

Now, Lillian’s mother-in-law is convinced that she committed this crime. 

Nash is a young man that’s captivated by Lillian. He wants to protect her, but there’s one problem. He has a secret of his own. If this secret got out, it could destroy his family.

Every page is rife with tension and a sense of unease, making it hard to put down!

Disclaimer: This book contains scenes of abuse that may distress some readers.

View it on:

4. Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance – Ruth Emmy Lang

If you enjoyed the character of Kya, you’ll love reading about Weylyn Grey in Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance. From a young age, Weylyn was orphaned and raised by wolves. Like Kya, she knows what it feels like to be isolated. 

One of the interesting aspects of this novel is that it’s told from the perspective of the people Weylyn crossed paths with in his life, whether they were close to him or just found him to be peculiar. 

Several of these people were only in Weylyn’s life for a short period, but he had a lasting effect on them. Especially a woman named Mary, who he saved from wolves as a child. 

This heart-warming story shows readers the beauty of nature and courage.

5. Lady Luck – Kristen Ashley

Fans of Where The Crawdads Sing will be hooked on Kristen Ashley’s book Lady Luck, which is about a woman who was born, well, unlucky.

Lexie Berry has had bad luck from the time she was born. She started life as an orphan, and things worsened, especially when her boyfriend was murdered.

Lexie is determined to change her luck around. That’s when she meets Ty, an ex-convict that was wrongfully accused.

He seems like the right kind of wrong. But there’s one big problem. Ty wants revenge on the people that framed him. 

Can Lexie change her luck and convince him to be a better man?

I could really see a similarity between Kaya and Lexie. The characters in Lady Luck are brilliantly crafted and each have their own secrets–you can’t help but suspect everyone!

6. Himself – Jess Kidd

If you’re looking for more gripping books like Where The Crawdads Sing that have more lighthearted tones, then I suggest Jess Kidd’s novel Himself.

Like Kya, the main character Mahoney was abandoned by his mother at a young age.

Mahoney wants to find his mother, even though he lived without her. He travels to Ireland’s west coast with only an old photograph from when she was a teenager.

Many people in the village disapprove of his arrival, but he knows one of them has the answers that he’s looking for.

This mystery novel will have readers hooked until the last page. It’s suspenseful but will also have readers laughing at a few scenes.

7. My Abandonment – Peter Rock

Kya lives a life of isolation in Where the Crawdads Sing. If you’re interested in reading another novel that explores a solitary life, then you may enjoy the true story about abandonment and isolation, in the form of My Abandonment by Peter Rock.

This story focuses on Caroline, a 13-year-old girl who lives off the grid in Forest Park with her father.

Their routine seemed normal to her because she didn’t know another life. She sees civilized life only when she goes into the city to get groceries with her father. 

When a jogger is exploring the backcountry area and discovers them, things soon change drastically for Caroline. While she’s brought into civilization, she still craves the solitude of life before.

The author’s attention to detail in this book really helps make the scenes and characters come to life. Despite it being non-fiction, it reads like fiction, and I was lost for words thinking this was based on a true story…

8. The Girls In The Stilt House – Kelly Mustian

Kelly Mustian’s novel The Girls In The Stilt House is an excellent choice for fans of Where The Crawdads Sing but who may appreciate a more historical setting. This story takes place in Mississippi in the 1920s before the Great Depression Era. 

Ada and Matilda are from two different walks of life but have experienced their fair share of hardships. Both girls are from The Trace, a swamp where poverty rates are high and life is anything but glamorous.

A complex friendship grows between the two girls when a murderer pairs them.

This is one suspenseful and coming-of-age book that fans of Where The Crawdads Sing won’t be able to put down. The twists and turns in the story keep the reader on the edge of their seat throughout the novel.

9. The Four Winds – Kristin Hannah

Do you want to read more books like Where The Crawdads Sing that are also set in the deep South? Then you may enjoy The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah.

This story takes place in Texas in 1934, during the Great Depression.

Families are suffering from poverty, abandonment, and ongoing tragedies. Elsa and her mother Loreda find strength in one another during these times. 

The family struggles through migration, poverty, and of prejudice, but the unbreakable bonds of family help them to see them through their hardships.

Elsa and her family endure struggles that we couldn’t imagine in our modern-day world. I was overcome with deep emotions reading this novel.

I also loved how the author shows their strength throughout the most hopeless period of their lives.

10. My Absolute Darling – Gabriel Tallent

In Where The Crawdads Sing, Kya has survival skills but lacks social skills. This is a familiar aspect in My Absolute Darling.

The story follows Turtle, a young girl who’s different from the other girls where she lives. She knows how to use guns, hunts for food, and other necessary survival skills.

She doesn’t know why she’s different from the other girls and how making a friend could drastically change her life.

One thing Turtle believes is that her father will keep her protected. She doesn’t realize that sometimes the ones we trust are doing the most harm.

The themes of betrayal, trust, and deception will keep readers engaged long after finishing the book.

Disclaimer: This book contains scenes of abuse that may upset some readers.

11. Convenience Store Woman – Sayaka Murata

Isolation and how it affects people’s actions is a big theme in Where The Crawdads Sing. This topic is also explored through the story of Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata. 

We are first introduced to Keiko who is a 36-year-old woman who has always been different.

She never fit in socially, so making friends and dating wasn’t in the cards for her.

She only understands the basics of social interactions through the handbook guide to her job at the convenience store.

This book takes on the complex emotions someone endures when they’re faced with conforming to society or being who they truly are.

12. The Marsh King’s Daughter – Karen Dionne

If you liked the thriller components of Where The Crawdads Sing, then you may also enjoy The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne. This exciting book will have you glued to the pages.

The story follows Helena who has a picture-perfect life on the outside.

However, she has a dark secret that even the people closest to her don’t know about. Her father is a killer, and her mother is one of the women he abducted before getting caught.

She thought that this was a secret she could keep buried forever. When Helena finds out that her father killed 2 guards and escaped prison, she must face her demons.

The characters are complex and flawed, with realistic motives and actions. I was hooked to the storyline and eager to learn more about the character’s back story and thought processes.

Disclaimer: This book contains scenes of abduction that may disturb some readers.

13. Night in Eden – Candice Proctor

Another book fans of Where The Crawdads Sing will enjoy because of the trial narrative will also like Night in Eden.

This book has a similar theme of a woman accused of murder and follows her hardships. It is also a historical fiction account of how women were sent to Australia from Britain as prisoners who eventually become slaves.

The story follows Bryony, who lived a privileged life until she was accused of murdering her husband. After spending time in prison, she is collected by a Captain and hired as a wet nurse.

Her new chance at life is not how she imagined. But, Bryony does feel a sense of purpose as she cares for the Captain’s child. 

I was interested in this book for the historical context but actually, there was less of that and more focus on the characters and her settling into a new life. I felt connected to Bryony on an emotional level and it almost had me weeping.

View it on:

14. Where The Forest Meets The Stars – Glendy Vanderah

If you’re looking for something a little more upbeat, then Where The Forest Meets The Stars is a fun and charming story that fans of Where The Crawdads Sing will love.

This story centers around Joanna, who is researching nesting birds.

She meets a young girl named Ursa that claims to have been sent from the stars. Joanna can’t leave this young girl in the wilderness by herself. 

She knows the girl didn’t appear from anywhere and is determined to discover the mystery surrounding her.

Joanna turns to help from her reclusive neighbor, but the 3 end up confronting more secrets than they expected.

The suspenseful plot remains intriguing and unpredictable until the very end.

15. The Crossing Places – Elly Griffiths

The Crossing Places is the first novel in the Ruth Galloway saga and it also has similar themes of mysterious deaths and crimes riddled with secrets.

Therefore if you enjoyed the mystery aspect of Where The Crawdads Sing, I think you’ll enjoy this fun book.

The story follows Ruth, a forensics archaeologist, but she’s never been sure about her place in the world. She’s content to live alone in a remote area with her daily routine.

When the body of a missing girl from over a decade is discovered, Ruth is called in for help. 

Upon this discovery, another girl goes missing. Ruth didn’t expect these two crimes to be connected, and she could be in danger next.

Fans of thrillers and suspense novels will be captivated by the book’s page-turning plot and intricate storyline.

16. The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides

One of the most compelling books similar to Where the Crawdads Sing which is quite a bit darker, but no less mysterious, is The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides.

The life of Alicia Berenson appeared to be nothing short of perfect. She was a renowned painter who was married to one of the most influential photographers in the city.

Their life together in a stunning London neighborhood may have appeared idyllic, but it was a far cry from reality.

One fateful night, when her partner returns home from work, Alicia takes aim and shoots him five times. From then on, she never speaks a word again.

The events of that night and Alicia’s sudden silence become one of the most significant mysteries in London.

Determined to uncover the truth, psychotherapist Theo Faber embarks on a personal quest into the secrets and intrigues of Alicia’s life, leading him down a dangerous path of obsession and discovery.

The book contains moments of psychological suspense that will leave readers guessing after every chapter.

Related Reading: Books Like The Silent Patient

17. The Secret History – Donna Tartt

If you’ve ever read any of Donna Tartt’s work, you will want to read everything she writes. And with mightily good reason too.

To see what I mean, I’d seriously recommend picking up a copy of The Secret History.

It’s an impressive addition to her catalog of incredible work, the book focuses on Richard, an outcast at an elusive New England college.

In his Ancient Greek class, five students have a dark and disturbing secret of their own, dragging Richard into the nightmare.

Tartt writes a pretentious yet intellectual novel intriguingly based on the simple value of friendship but with underlying tones of mystery, evilness, and arrogance. 

Related Reading: The Best Books Like The Secret History

18. A Man Called Ove – Fredrik Backman

If you haven’t read a book like A Man Called Ove, then make sure you consider giving this a spot on your bookshelf.

This book follows the story of Ove, a grumpy old man whom the neighborhood has deemed “the bitter neighbor from hell.” However, there’s more under the surface of Ove’s mean exterior.

Ove hasn’t had the best experiences with people. He has been conned and taken advantage of by people in the past. The only person he cared for, his wife, lost her life in a tragic accident.

These experiences have led to Ove having a hard shell and coming across as a curmudgeon to everyone in his neighborhood.

A different side of the man is revealed when a new family moves in next door, and an unkempt cat enters his life.

This popular best-seller was made into a Swedish movie in 2015. A Man Called Ove has also inspired an American movie titled A Man Called Otto.

It was released on Christmas Day, 2022 and stars Tom Hanks as Otto.

View it on:

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books like where the crawdads sing

Final Words On Books Like Where The Crawdads Sing

So there you have it, those are my favorite similar books and I think you will find that although there are similar aspects, each of these novels is still different enough to keep you hooked, whilst also filling the void that Where the Crawdads Sing left.

I hope you enjoy these titles just as much as you enjoyed Where The Crawdads Sing.

Did I miss a novel similar to Where The Crawdads Sing that you enjoyed? Let me know about it in the comments below. 

Disclaimer: This website uses affiliate links, meaning I may earn a commission if you make a purchase through a link at no extra cost to you.

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About Louisa Smith

Editor/Founder - Epic Book Society

Louisa is the Founder, Editor, and Head Honcho of Epic Book Society. She was born and raised in the United Kingdom and graduated from the University for the Creative Arts with a degree in Journalism. Louisa began her writing career at the age of 7 when her poetry was published in an anthology of poems to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee. Upon graduating university, she spent several years working as a journalist writing about books before transitioning to become a Primary School Teacher. Louisa loves all genres of books, but her favorites are Sci-Fi, Romance, Fantasy, and Young Adult Fiction. Read more Louisa's story here.

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