- Paperback: 496 pages
- Publisher: Random House Large Print; Large Print edition (August 14, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1984827618
- ISBN-13: 978-1984827616
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Customer Reviews: 48,457 customer ratings
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #188 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Where the Crawdads Sing Paperback – August 14, 2018
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I have to confess that I have also had magical moments with marsh creatures such as herons, eagles, and mud turtles. Like the main character, Kya, I am a compulsive collector of treasures from those Great Rock Tumblers: the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean which makes this book so attractive to me. However, Delia Owens' writing is more than just about the natural world. She spins a good and very well-written tale about murder, courtroom drama, nature, poetry, and even love.
Another reviewer described Owens' writing as lyrical. It is. Take your time and savor every sentence.
I only keep few book's that I know I will read again. This is staying in my library.
Top international reviews
If this flimsy and wholly ridiculous plot line were in any way to be redeemed, it might have been through quality of writing because of the interesting environment of the swamp and its wildlife, but even in this the novel fails. The only passable passages are indeed the ones in which Ms Owens describes the swamp life. The dialogue is ridiculous, the love scenes are stitched together out of worn-out cliches, and the suspension of disbelief required of the reader is just asking way too much.
I have no doubt that Delia Owens is an excellent naturalist and ecologist and an asset to her field. But as a novelist, she doesn't cut it. Don't waste your money on this book.
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!
Kya quickly becomes more at ease with nature than people and her relationships with the opposite sex are traumatic.
Delia Owens' rich,descriptive prose gives us a valuable insight into the scenery and wildlife of the region but most importantly the intriguing character of Kya.
I gave this four stars because the beginning was painfully slow,the poetry becomes annoying after a time and the timetable of events at the Fire Tower seemed implausible.
This is a book every mother should give to her daughter about the age twelve or thirteen. But men will appreciate it too. And there should be a film. If I ever read a book which should be a movie, this is it.
Imagine you are the youngest girl in a family of five other siblings and Ma and Pa. Pa is an alcoholic abuser of his wife and most unpleasant fellow. After enduring him for years, Ma walks out of the marsh one day and never returns. This is only the beginning of the abandonment of Kya, five years old. I hope that peaked your interest as I have no intention of ruining one of the best stories I've ever read by telling you more. Let's just say, that you will never forget Kya long after you've finished the book.
Where the Crawdads Sing is an extraordinary tale, well told.
I think I will return to my faster paced thrillers and mysteries.
The murder storyline held me for a while, but ultimately it was no surprise when I found the 'twist.' It was kind of telegraphed.
The characters, which should have been the driving force behind what seemed like a literary novel at first, were mostly flat and cliched; that was a disappointment; much more could have been made of them, which would have enriched the reading experience. The brother coming and going was a bit pointless and went nowhere, and the white-hat/black-hat aspect of the two young men in Kya's life was another cliche that brought the rating down.
The writing was often startlingly good, there were many sentences which really sang, but overall it all felt a bit cobbled together, and the intrigue felt shoe-horned in. Also it did feel a bit like a nature lesson at times, with the descriptions nicely done but unnecessary, and delivered in a very lecture-like way. Not as they'd be viewed from the 'Swamp Girl's' perspective.
Overall then, I liked the writing, and the premise was promising, but I don't think it quite delivered in the end.