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Where the Crawdads Sing by [Delia Owens]
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Where the Crawdads Sing Kindle Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 129,090 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews


“A painfully beautiful first novel that is at once a murder mystery, a coming-of-age narrative and a celebration of nature....Owens here surveys the desolate marshlands of the North Carolina coast through the eyes of an abandoned child. And in her isolation that child makes us open our own eyes to the secret wonders—and dangers—of her private world.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Steeped in the rhythms and shadows of the coastal marshes of North Carolina’s Outer Banks, this fierce and hauntingly beautiful novel centers on...Kya’s heartbreaking story of learning to trust human connections, intertwine[d] with a gripping murder mystery, revealing savage truths. An astonishing debut.”—People

“This lush mystery is perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver.”—Bustle

“A lush debut novel, Owens delivers her mystery wrapped in gorgeous, lyrical prose. It’s clear she’s from this place—the land of the southern coasts, but also the emotional terrain—you can feel it in the pages.  A magnificent achievement, ambitious, credible and very timely.”—Alexandra Fuller, New York Times bestselling author of Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight

“Heart-wrenching...A fresh exploration of isolation and nature from a female perspective along with a compelling love story.”—Entertainment Weekly

“This wonderful novel has a bit of everything—mystery, romance, and fascinating characters, all told in a story that takes place in North Carolina.”—Nicholas Sparks, New York Times bestselling author of Every Breath

“Delia Owen’s gorgeous novel is both a coming-of-age tale and an engrossing whodunit.”—Real Simple

“Evocative...Kya makes for an unforgettable heroine.”—Publishers Weekly

“The New Southern novel...A lyrical debut.”Southern Living

“A nature-infused romance with a killer twist.”—Refinery29

“Anyone who liked The Great Alone will want to read Where the Crawdads Sing....This astonishing debut is a beautiful and haunting novel that packs a powerful punch. It’s the first novel in a long time that made me cry.”—Kristin Hannah, author of The Great Alone and The Nightingale

“Both a coming-of-age story and a mysterious account of a murder investigation told from the perspective of a young girl...Through Kya’s story, Owens explores how isolation affects human behavior, and the deep effect that rejection can have on our lives.”—Vanity Fair

“Lyrical...Its appeal ris[es] from Kya’s deep connection to the place where makes her home, and to all of its creatures.”—Booklist

“This beautiful, evocative novel is likely to stay with you for many days afterward....absorbing.”AARP 

“This haunting tale captivates every bit as much for its crime drama elements as for the humanity at its core.” —Mystery & Suspense Magazine

“Compelling, original...A mystery, a courtroom drama, a romance and a coming-of-age story, Where the Crawdads Sing is a moving, beautiful tale. Readers will remember Kya for a long, long time.”ShelfAwareness

“With prose luminous as a low-country moon, Owens weaves a compelling tale of a forgotten girl in the unforgiving coastal marshes of North Carolina. It is a murder mystery/love story/courtroom drama that readers will love, but the novel delves so much deeper into the bone and sinew of our very nature, asking often unanswerable questions, old and intractable as the marsh itself. A stunning debut!”Christopher Scotton, author of The Secret Wisdom of the Earth

“A compelling mystery with prose so luminous it can cut through the murkiest of pluff mud.”—Augusta Chronicle

“Carries the rhythm of an old time ballad. It is clear Owens knows this land intimately, from the black mud sucking at footsteps to the taste of saltwater and the cry of seagulls.”David Joy, author of The Line That Held Us Review

An Amazon Best Book of August 2018: Although this is Delia Owens’ first novel, she long ago distinguished herself as a gifted writer. In the mid-80s, Owens co-wrote with her husband Cry of the Kalahari, which was a best-selling, nonfictional account of traveling and researching Africa’s Kalahari Desert. One of the joys of that book was the Owens’ description of the natural world, and Where the Crawdads Sing is immersed in the natural world as well. The story is set in the 1950s and revolves around a young woman named Kya Clark, who is from extremely rural North Carolina. Known by others as the Marsh Girl, she lives alone in nature—but the draw of other people, and specifically love, brings her into contact with the greater world. This novel has a mystery at its core, but it can be read on a variety of levels. There is great nature writing; there is coming of age; and there is literature. Crawdads is a story lovingly told—one that takes its time in developing its characters and setting, and in developing the story. You’ll want to relax and take your time as well, and when you’re done you will want to talk about it with another reader. – Chris Schluep , Amazon Book Review --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.

Product details

  • ASIN : B078GD3DRG
  • Publisher : G.P. Putnam's Sons (August 14, 2018)
  • Publication date : August 14, 2018
  • Language : English
  • File size : 4416 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Enabled
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 379 pages
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.8 out of 5 stars 129,090 ratings

Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5
129,090 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on October 28, 2018
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6,315 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on January 27, 2019
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3,253 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on October 1, 2018
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2,803 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on January 31, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars You'll NEVER Want To Leave
By Diane Parker on January 31, 2019
I read a lot. Sometimes folks refer a title to me ... sometimes I don't ALWAYS 'adjust' to the referring individuals taste. My niece recommended this title and said, "It's not so much the story line ... even though that's VERY good ... but, the WRITING style. After the first pages, I was HOOKED. Love Ms. Owen's style. Descriptive, picturesque speech.
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1,405 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on September 16, 2018
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1,912 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on August 19, 2018
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1,704 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on September 3, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on August 25, 2018
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Top reviews from other countries

1.0 out of 5 stars Complete claptrap
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 18, 2019
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1,258 people found this helpful
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2.0 out of 5 stars Huge disappointment.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 4, 2019
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341 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant novel set in NORTH CAROLINA
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 18, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant novel set in NORTH CAROLINA
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 18, 2019
“There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot”

For months now – since it was the September 2018 Reece Witherspoon Hello Sunshine Book Club choice – I have seen nothing but glowing reviews of this seminal novel. It will, I am sure become a classic in its own right (there, I have already given away how I feel about the book!). The actress has also optioned the film rights for it.

This is the story of Kya, shortened from Catherine Danielle, who lives in the swampy marshes of North Caroline, not far from Asheville. Her mother walked out on her when she was young and she still has visions of her departure, suitcase in hand, faux snakeskin shoes, tripping her way down the track and out of sight. Her older siblings have also abandoned life in the little homestead, leaving her with her oftentimes drunk and violent father; he is around less and less as he fritters away any income, there is money neither for food nor clothes. To all intents and purposes she is abandoned by those who are important in her life and she is tasked with raising herself, this little “marsh girl” who has nothing in her life but the nature surrounding their hovel. The birds and wildlife are her companions. Oh, and she has access to her father’s small boat which gives her some mobility. She is adept at cruising the waterways.

Years pass and her loneliness becomes entrenched. Tate is drawn to this skinny young girl but ultimately he forsakes her for his studies, leaving her abandoned once again. Soon she is befriended by Chase, a dapper young man about town, a womaniser and who, we know, is found dead at the outset of the novel lying at the bottom of the Fire Tower. Natural suspicion amongst the nearby townsfolk falls on Kya because she is an oddball, she lives in poverty, she is different…. and she is female. Remember this is a time in American history when there was discrimination against anyone who was different to the overwhelmingly white populace. The author has an acute eye for capturing people, prejudices and small town life.

Kya, surrounded by the natural world starts to record what she sees and experiences. This holds her in good stead as her life develops. Yet she is no match as a single, lonely girl for the bigoted views held by those around her. A storm of prejudice and a need to see justice done, at any cost, whips through the community, targeting her as the only viable suspect in the murder case.

Loneliness is a theme throughout the novel that makes this a particularly heartfelt and poignant story.

What makes this a fabulous read are the rich descriptions, the language and the languorous pace that, just like the waterways, move the story along at just the right tempo. The setting comes to life beautifully. The writing and storytelling has been compared to the work of Barbara Kingsolver and I can really see why!

The title comes from common parlance in the area and means …far in the bush where critters are wild, still behaving like critters…

I was sad when this book came to an end and it is still vibrantly with me, a couple of weeks down the line. It indeed has all the hallmarks of a future classic!

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152 people found this helpful
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5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE how different this is
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 9, 2019
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60 people found this helpful
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not a bestseller for me ...
Reviewed in Canada on September 6, 2019
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66 people found this helpful
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