Delia Owens’s Where the Crawdads Sing is more than a story—it’s an experience.
Set in the 1960s on the North Carolina coast, the novel is at once an ode to the natural world, a coming-of-age tale, and a murder mystery. Packed into the pages are beautifully evocative details and a soulfully Southern vibe.
And the movie, which premieres in theaters July 15, is doing an impressive job of honoring the novel that inspired it.
Looking for another book that’s similar in tone, scope, feel, or setting? We asked our experts to weigh in. Check them out below!
The Great Alone
Kristin Hannah's books always pack a punch, and this one is no exception. The Great Alone is set in Alaska, not the South—but it weaves in profound themes of love and loss, bravery, survival, and the natural world that will strike a chord among Crawdads fans.
The Girls in the Stilt House
This debut novel by Kelly Mustian is a haunting tale of friendship and redemption. Set in 1920s Mississippi, the story centers on two teenage girls—one Black, one white—who forge an unlikely bond as they navigate a dangerous world of secrets, corruption, and murder.
The Floating Girls
Georgia swampland sets the stage for this wonderfully atmospheric coming-of-age family drama. Told from the point of view of an insightful and feisty 12-year-old girl, the story is both witty and heartbreaking. This Lo Patrick masterpiece has been lauded as a “close cousin” to Where the Crawdads Sing.
The Secret Life of Bees
Sue Monk Kidd’s extraordinary debut novel has long been a popular pick for book clubs, and it’s easy to see why. The story of a young girl finding her place among a group of found sisters in 1964 South Carolina is a touching exploration of race, friendship, and belonging. The novel was adapted into a 2008 film starring Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson, and Queen Latifah.
Before We Were Yours
The poignant story by Lisa Wingate begins in Memphis in 1939, when a group of siblings is torn from their happy home and forced into an orphanage, where they must fight to stay together. In present-day South Carolina, a successful lawyer delves into a long-hidden family history that ties her to those children, their fate, and answers that will bring either devastation or redemption. Winner of the Southern Book Prize.